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Blankets of Ice From Ohio Valley to East Coast : Bush Delays Visits to School, Religious Leaders; St. Louis Voting Gets Off to Late Start in Storm

From United Press International

Blankets of ice up to a half-inch think coated automobile windshields and streets in the nation’s capital and along the East Coast and the Ohio Valley today.

Arctic air dropped temperatures below zero in parts of Maine, Vermont and New York State. Dense clouds in the Northwest obscured what should have been the best look at the effects of today’s solar eclipse.

An overnight barrage of rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain turned roads and sidewalks into skating rinks from Washington, D.C., to New York City. Scores of schools were closed in the Washington area and the weather forced President Bush to postpone trips to Lancaster, Pa., and Wilmington, Del.

The President had been scheduled to address students and faculty at Conestoga Valley High School and meet with Amish and Mennonite leaders in Lancaster, then view a YMCA anti-drug program and speak to criminal justice officials in Wilmington.

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Motorists along the East Coast and into the upper Ohio Valley scraped up to half an inch of ice off their windshields this morning, then slipped and slid to work over ice-slicked highways.

Polling Workers Tied Up

Voters in St. Louis got off to a late start in today’s primary election for mayor and several other city posts because workers had difficulty reaching polling places that were socked in by snow.

“All factors considered, all the polls were open by 7:15,” George Mehan, deputy election commissioner, said. “That’s only an hour and 15 minutes late and you have to be a little reasonable under conditions like this.

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“Some of the polling workers couldn’t get out of their homes and some of the entrance ways to the polling places were blocked by snow.”

St. Louis was hit by 11 inches of snow Monday--the third-worst storm on record--but a Circuit Court judge refused the city’s request to postpone the primary for a week.

At least 10 Texas cities from the Red River to the Gulf of Mexico set or tied records for cold.

In the Northeast, readings of 14 degrees below zero at Burlington, Vt., 3 below in Portland, Me., and 1 below at Syracuse, N.Y., set records for the date. Newark, N.J., tied a record at 16 degrees.

Elsewhere today, rain was reported over parts of Virginia and eastern North Carolina and showers and thunderstorms hit south Florida. Rain also extended from central California to northern Utah.

Cloudy skies across the Northwest spoiled what would have been the best opportunity to view the effects of the solar eclipse.


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