Sleet and heavy snow glazed highways Wednesday from the Ohio Valley to New England, closing schools and airports and stranding drivers.
There were scattered school closings from Missouri to Maine.”Snow is made for kids,” said 10-year-old Stella Knapik of Agawam, Mass., as she and her 11-year-old sister tumbled down a snow-covered hillside.
Thirteen inches of snow were reported at Utica, N.Y., with 10 inches by midday in central Indiana, 9 in Illinois and up to a foot in Missouri. Snow flurries were reported as far south as Alabama.
Up to 21 inches of snow fell along the Great Lakes in New York. Rochester’s total this season jumped from 43 inches to 64, 13 more inches than all of last season, and Buffalo’s 10 inches of new snow gave it a season total of just more than 88 inches, up from 35 at this time last year.
Concord, N.H., had 6 inches of snow by afternoon, for a total of more than 40 inches this season compared with 35 all of last winter.
Boston’s Logan Airport was closed eight times during the day for snow removal, and Cleveland’s airport was closed for two hours.
Non-emergency travel was banned in a dozen of Ohio’s hardest-hit counties. Snowy, icy roads stopped drivers in much of the Midwest. Some 75 to 100 people had to spend the night at a school in Indiana’s Shelby County. About 300 people were stranded at the Greyhound bus station in Columbus, Ohio.
Down the street from the bus station, the snow postponed the first voting sessions of the year for the Ohio Legislature.
“Some days, it doesn’t pay to get out of bed,” grumbled Tom Horvath, digging a car out of a knee-deep snowdrift outside his home in Toledo, Ohio. “I hate snow. Wake me up when it’s spring.”
But the Rev. Jim Renfrew had an appreciation for the weather.
“I figure if it’s going to snow at all, it might as well be a good snow,” said Renfrew, walking his son to the YMCA through knee-deep drifts in Rochester, N.Y. “It quiets the city down, it gives people exercise shoveling snow, it gives us more time with our kids who don’t go to school. Let us enjoy it - this is beautiful!”