Southeast Freezes as Ohio Battles 12-Foot Snowdrifts

From Times Wire Services

Record cold Saturday reached deep into the Southeast, and about 300 National Guardsmen remained on duty in Ohio, clearing rural southern roads of 12-foot snowdrifts.

Huntsville, Ala., set a record at 17, and Jacksonville, Fla., fell to a record 27, while Orlando, Fla., was a record 32.

Lows were in the single digits and teens over parts of New England, the Mid-Atlantic, the Appalachians, Great Lakes, Ohio and Mississippi valleys.

Quick Thaw Dangerous

"A quick thaw could cause major flooding problems," said Marvin Miller of the National Weather Service in Columbus, Ohio, reflecting hopes for a gradual thaw.

The Guardsmen were wrapping up their snow emergency work throughout Ohio, but a parts shortage created by the week of closed highways forced a General Motors Corp. plant to close for the day.

The troops cleared snowbound rural roads, provided emergency transportation and deliveries, and used helicopters to help power company crews find transmission line breaks in the southeastern part of the state.

"They're still working on some of the power outages in some of the counties," Maj. Calvin Taylor, a National Guard spokesman, said.

Auto Production Halted

Transportation problems caused by the heavy snowfall halted production at the General Motors van and car plants in Lordstown, company spokeswoman Linda Cook said. About 2,100 persons work at the van plant, and about 5,750 are employed at the car plant.

Snow also was scattered over northern New York state, and a travelers' advisory warning of hazardous roads was posted over the northwestern corner of the state.

Barnes Corners in northwest New York state, about 20 miles from Lake Ontario, had 24 inches of snow overnight.

Clyde Beutel at the Barnes Corners Hotel said the town was full of skiers, snowmobilers and hunters enjoying the snow.

300 Inches a Year

Barnes Corners is in the traditional Snow Belt and averages some 300 inches of snow a year, said Debbie Crowther, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Syracuse, N.Y.

Snow also fell over northern and central Minnesota and portions of the northern and central Rockies. Snow showers were scattered over the northern Appalachians and portions of the Great Lakes.

In Michigan, which was hammered by power outages, blocked roads, collapsed roofs and at least five deaths during a week of similar weather, power crews continued to replace poles and downed lines.

A travelers' advisory for dense fog was posted for northwest Utah, where visibility was cut to near zero. The mist combined with slippery roads to make driving hazardous.

The weather has been blamed for 45 deaths in the last week.

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