Two missing as truck slips on snowy road

March 5, 2013 at 3:25 PM
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MENOMINIE, Wis., March 5 (UPI) -- One man is dead and another was missing after a semi-trailer slid off a snow-covered Wisconsin highway into a river, the Wisconsin State Patrol said Tuesday.

State troopers said the truck, which was registered in Michigan, was eastbound on Interstate 94 when it jackknifed about 4 a.m. Tuesday and slid into the Red Cedar River near Menominee, KSTP-TV, St. Paul, Minn., reported.

Dive crews recovered the body of the driver and were searching for a passenger, KARE-TV, Minneapolis, reported.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation spokeswoman Christine Ouellette said eastbound lanes of I-94 have been reopened, after having been closed for a time during the search operation.

The winter storm threatened transportation and electrical service in at least 19 states as it moved across the eastern United States, ABC News reported.

Parts of North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey were expected to get heavy snow Tuesday through Thursday, after the storm blasted portions of the Plains and Midwest, said.

The greatest potential for traffic-stopping snowfall is in eastern West Virginia and the western regions of Virginia and Maryland. The weight of the snow could be enough to break tree limbs and snap power lines.

Slightly warmer temperatures could cause rain and slush to fall in a line between Washington and New York.

The Washington suburb of Alexandria, Va., prepared to deploy about 4,000 trucks and snow plows to handle the job of clearing streets.

The storm has caused nearly 1,000 flights to be canceled at airports in Chicago, where residents were bracing for as much as 11 inches of snow.

Dozens of schools around the city were closed, or were planning to close, as the National Weather Service predicted an inch of snow or more could fall each hour Tuesday afternoon and evening.

About 182 snowplows were activated to salt and clear the Illinois Tollway. Light snow began to fall in the area before dawn as the storm moved eastward from North Dakota. Heavier snow began at the end of the morning rush-hour.

The storm was expected to dump as much as a foot of snow in Minneapolis, with at least 7 inches already on the ground in the metro area by early Tuesday morning, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

As of 9 a.m. CST, at least 70 flights had been canceled and dozens more had been delayed at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where more than 7 inches of snow had fallen by Tuesday morning. Officials said crews were continuously plowing two runways to keep at least one in operation at all times, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

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