Wed, Dec 24, 2008 - Page 7 News List

Winter arrives in northern US with a vengeance


Potelco employees Matt Fasnacht, front, and John Brown hike into the woods west of Deschutes Parkway in Olympia, Washington, on Monday to repair a power line that was knocked down by a fallen tree. Thousands of travelers remained stranded by snow on Monday across the Pacific Northwest.


The weather outside was frightful from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, on Monday, with last-minute holiday shoppers shivering and stranded travelers hoping for the best as Christmas rapidly approached.

The little town of Eustis, Maine, got more than a meter of snow.

In Marysville, Washington, north of Seattle, heavy snow collapsed part of the roof on Monday at the Whitley Evergreen factory, which makes modular buildings. No one was injured.

Flights were canceled and delayed at airports on both coasts.

Hundreds of travelers were stranded at airports in Phoenix; SeaTac, Washington; Los Angeles and Arlington, Virginia.

The 368mm snowfall Sunday in Portland, Maine, surpassed the old record for Dec. 21 of 315mm, set in 1933. On the other side of the country, up to 330mm in Portland, Oregon, was the biggest snowfall since January 1980. Depending on how much more fell Monday as the snow trailed off, the storm could rank as one of the city’s 10 worst on record.

Snowfall was relatively scant in the Midwest and East, but high winds whipped up snow along roadways and, along with ice, made driving hazardous for holiday travelers.

For the mid-Atlantic states, the storm took the form of weekend snow and rain — followed by a cold snap early on Monday. High winds overnight cut off power to 13,000 homes and businesses in Maryland.

Baltimore Gas & Electric said on its Web site that all but 1,200 had service restored by midafternoon.

Kelly Dagostino of Texarkana, Arkansas, was visiting New York for the first time and bundled up Monday so the cold wouldn’t keep her from her plans.

“It’s still cold, very cold, but I want to see stuff, so we’re out and about in it,” she said as she checked out Macy’s holiday windows along 34th Street.

The town of Eustis in western Maine received a meter of snow by Monday morning.

“It’s beautiful, but it’s a little crazy,” said Linda Shane, who had to call for help when the snow jammed her car doors shut as she tried to get out of her driveway.

Finally at her job at Camden National Bank, she looked out the window and said: “You can’t see the gas station across the street.”

Nearly 40,000 customers remain without power across northern Indiana because of an ice storm last week. There were also more than 7,000 customers still out in Illinois on Monday and about 5,000 in northwest Ohio.

The weather was blamed for at least 11 deaths over the weekend, including a collision between a car and a semi-trailer truck near New Carlisle, Indiana, that killed four Marines based near Detroit. In suburban Chicago, the frozen body of a 48-year-old mother of three was found on a sidewalk near her home; an autopsy showed she died of hypothermia.

In the Seattle area, the city remained largely snowbound on Monday.

Limited service resumed at Sea-Tac Airport, but thousands of people were stranded because of all the flight cancelations over the weekend.

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