Winter Storm Packing High Winds Wreaks Havoc in Great Lakes Area

From Associated Press

A storm packing wind gusts of up to 86 m.p.h. brought snow and icy temperatures to the Great Lakes region Sunday, knocking down power lines, closing roads and destroying a seawall on Chicago's Lake Michigan waterfront.

"It's real bad. We've got so many (accidents) we can't keep up with it," said Sheriff's Deputy Brian Billingsley in South Bend, Ind. Many roads in the South Bend area were closed because of zero visibility in blowing snow.

On Michigan's Upper Peninsula, state police said a highway between Marquette and Munising was closed for several hours by drifting snow and three miles of U.S. 41 between Ishpeming and Negaunee was closed by drifts. Alpena had seven inches of new snow and blizzard conditions were reported across parts of the state.

Eastern Movement Expected

The storm was expected to move rapidly eastward and blizzard warnings for today were posted for the mountains of northern West Virginia, western Maryland and much of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Around sunrise, a wind gust to 86 m.p.h. knocked down trees at Janesville, Wis., and gusts to 69 m.p.h. downed billboards at Grand Rapids, Mich. Gusts of more than 50 m.p.h. raked parts of Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa.

Downed power lines in Michigan interrupted electric service to about 39,000 Consumers Power Co. customers across the state, utility spokesman Dan Bishop said.

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