COLUMBUS, Ohio — An unusual spring storm dumped nearly 2 feet of wet snow on parts of the Midwest and Appalachians, snapping power lines, taking a bite out of baseball and rewriting the record books.
“We’ve been kind of spoiled because the weather was so nice last weekend,” said Tina Adams, 37, who described about 18 inches of snow in her yard in the northeast Ohio town of Chardon, east of Cleveland. “The kids got to go outside, play baseball and now we’re stuck inside again. It’s like the seasons have reversed.”
The two-day weekend storm brought temperatures as much as 25 degrees below the normal of around 60 as snow fell across parts of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and western Pennsylvania, and south along the Appalachians as far as western North Carolina.
Ohio hardest hit
Police in Indiana said snow-covered pavement contributed to two traffic deaths.
Northeastern Ohio was hardest hit, with 21 inches of snow in North Royalton, 15 in Solon and Tina Adams’ 18 in Chardon. Dozens of schools were closed Monday because of slippery roads.
Cleveland got 12.4 inches, boosting the city’s total for the month to an April record of 19 inches, nearly 5 inches over the old record. Compacting and melting left just 8 inches on the ground by the morning rush hour. For the season, Cleveland’s total jumped to 117.9 inches, toppling the old record of 101.1 inches set in 1995-96.
Just last week, Cleveland’s temperature hit 81 and forsythia and other flowering plants burst into bloom.
Up to 16 inches of wet snow fell on parts of Michigan’s Thumb peninsula and Detroit’s northern suburbs, the National Weather Service said. Wind gusting to 40 mph created drifts 3 and 4 feet high on the Thumb.
“A week ago we were wearing shorts and tank tops,” said Misti Hunt, a bartender in the Thumb town of Bad Axe, where some roads were impassable Sunday evening.
Baseball games postponed
In the Appalachians, 8 inches fell at Terra Alta, W.Va., more than double what was forecast. Parts of western Maryland also reported 8 inches. On Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina, known for extreme weather, about 5 inches of snow fell, the temperature fell to 16 and wind gusted to 139 mph, meteorologists said.
The Detroit Tigers postponed two weekend home games against the Minnesota Twins because of the wretched weather.
The cold likely will harm some fruit trees, but perennials should be OK, experts said. Farmers were wary of the cold wave’s effect on seed they planted early.
Snapped branches and power lines left about 80,000 FirstEnergy customers in the Cleveland area without power Sunday. About 54,000 customers were still without power Monday, the utility said.
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