By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON Feb 22 New England braced on Friday for
its third snowstorm in three weekends, gathering crews to ready
roads and trim trees ahead of the snow, sleet and freezing rain
that hit the Midwest.
The storm blanketed states from Minnesota to Ohio earlier
this week, dumping more than a foot (30.5 cm) of snow in Kansas
on Thursday, forcing airports to cancel hundreds of flights and
stranding motorists on highways.
The storm was expected to pelt New England's coastal areas
from northern Connecticut to southern Maine with a mix of snow
and rain late on Friday, said National Weather Service
meteorologist John Foley. Snow was predicted for Saturday, with
up to a foot (30.5 cm) possible in central Massachusetts, Foley
"I'm not thrilled that we've got more snow coming this
weekend. I've had enough of winter," said John Bonnanzio, 54,
group editor at Mutual Fund Investors Association outside of
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino met with his "Snow Team" on
Friday, as city crews prepared to trim trees to reduce the risk
for downed power lines and pre-treat roadways to guard against
"Boston will be ready for its third consecutive weekend
storm," Menino said in a statement. "Use common sense and stay
off the roads while snowfall is heaviest tomorrow."
For some Boston-area residents the prospect of yet another
weekend snowstorm was good news.
"I'm excited. ... I went out skiing in the streets during
the last one, and I'll do the same thing again," said Jesse
Beecher, 29, who works for a film production company.
The storm barreled eastward for the weekend after hitting
the Midwest during the work week. In Kansas City, Missouri,
Mayor Sly James said that about 60 buses were stuck on snowbound
streets on Thursday, and even tow trucks were immobilized.
"It's still an ongoing process to get people off the roads,"
he told CNN.
About 570 flights were canceled on Friday, with 127 of them
at Chicago's O'Hare airport. Kansas City International Airport
reopened after being closed on Thursday while crews cleared
The National Weather Service said early in the morning that
the storm, headed northeast into the upper Great Lakes, may
bring sleet and freezing rain to the Appalachians and
mid-Atlantic states, with thunderstorms expected on the storm's
southern fringe in the southeastern United States.
Kansas bore the brunt of the bad weather on Thursday, with
up to 15 inches (38 cm) of snow in some parts of the state,
according to the National Weather Service.
A 200-mile (323-km) stretch of Interstate 70 in central
Kansas was closed and strewn with cars stuck in snow.
National Guard troops riding in Humvees were dispatched to
look for stranded motorists along the interstate and other
highways, said Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for Kansas emergency
The storm triggered severe thunderstorms from eastern Texas
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Kansas Governor Sam
Brownback declared states of emergency because of hazardous
travel and possible power outages. Brownback ordered state
In Nebraska, a 19-year-old woman was killed in a two-car
accident on Wednesday on Interstate 80 near Giltner. The
Nebraska State Patrol said weather was a factor.
An 18-year-old man died in Oklahoma when his vehicle slid
into a tractor-trailer on a slushy state highway, the state's
highway patrol said.
Drought-stricken farmers in the Great Plains, one of the
world's largest wheat-growing areas, welcomed the moisture
brought by the storm, although experts said more rain or snow
would be needed to ensure healthy crops.
(Additional reporting by Kevin Murphy and Ian Simpson.; Editing
by Lisa Von Ahn, Barbara Goldberg, Carol Bishopric, Gabriel
Debenedetti and Leslie Adler)