Snow, sleet sting travelers from Michigan to Maine

BOSTON – A wind-blown brew of snow, sleet and freezing rain cut visibility and iced over highways from the Great Lakes to New England on Sunday, stranding air and road travelers and causing a jetliner to skid off a runway.

At least three traffic deaths have been blamed on the storm.

The National Weather Service posted winter storm warnings from Michigan and Indiana all the way to Maine. About a foot of snow had fallen on parts of the Chicago area, with 10 inches in Vermont. Meteorologists said 18 inches was possible in northern New England; more snow was expected in parts of Michigan.

In Rhode Island, a U.S. Airways Express flight from Philadelphia carrying 31 passengers and three crew members slid off the runway as it tried to land at T.F. Green Airport, which got nearly 8 inches of snow, the Providence Journal reported on its Web site. No injuries were reported, but the airport had to close its runways for about 2 1/2 hours, spokespeople said.

By late afternoon Sunday, AAA Michigan had helped more than 3,000 motorists, most of whom had spun out, gotten stuck in a ditch or couldn’t start their vehicles, spokeswoman Nancy Cain said.

The storm canceled hundreds of flights at airports in Chicago and about 300 flights at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Flights were also canceled at airports in Portland, Maine; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Manchester, N.H.

The storm came less than a week after an ice storm blamed for at least 38 deaths, mostly in traffic accidents, in the middle of the country. Thousands of homes and businesses still had no electricity in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.


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