Great Lakes Battered by Wet Snow, Winds

From Times Wire Services

A blustery storm Tuesday pummeled the Great Lakes with up to six inches of wet snow and winds of up to 60 m.p.h., knocking out electricity to more than 73,000 customers in three states and pushing rivers out of their banks.

Meanwhile, prison inmates and colleges-student volunteers shored up levees protecting an Illinois town from flooding that threatened to reach tanks filled with potentially hazardous ammonia.

The punishing March winds ripped down tree branches and power lines throughout Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio, hampering firefighting in Detroit and damaging a skyscraper in Columbus.

Wind-driven rain and wet snow glazed roads and aggravated flooding along bloated rivers in Michigan and Wisconsin. Travelers' advisories were posted in northeast Wisconsin, where six inches of snow covered Oneida.

Four inches of wet snow and high winds cut power to thousands of residents near Green Bay, Wisconsin Electric Power Co. said.

Winds gusting up to 51 m.p.h. in Michigan's Lower Peninsula knocked out power to 62,000 customers of Consumers Power Co. and Detroit Edison Co., officials said.

Up to five inches of snow fell overnight in the Upper Peninsula, and flood watches remained in effect Tuesday along the Saginaw, Muskegon and White rivers, all of which were expected to crest at or near flood stage by Thursday. The Saginaw and the Cass rivers in central Michigan exceeded flood stage, but no evacuations were ordered, officials said.

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