Frigid Weather Grips the Midwest

October 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Frigid weather is gripping other parts of the country. Rain, snow and ice are greeting millions with a very unwelcome and early cold wave. From the Rockies, to the Midwest, it's feeling more like February than mid-October. Temperatures plunged, roads iced over, and snow fell.

Up to 17 inches of snow fell in Nebraska! Icy rain and snow caused more than 100 accidents in Minnesota, one of which claimed a life. Black ice caused semi trailers to turn over in Colorado, some with livestock trapped inside.

Conditions were so treacherous even rescue crews had to retreat. "We've had multiple trucks jack knifing, sliding toward our crews," said Emergency Responder Ken Betchel.

In Denver, crashes dotted roadways despite official warnings about the dangerous conditions. "The truck lost control all of a sudden and I tried to correct it and then it cut back the other way."

Mike Murray with the Colorado Department of Transportation said, "They think it's okay because they don't see accumulation on the roadways.. . So they think they're going to be alright. But it doesn't take very long before they hit a curve or a bridge or an overpass at the wrong speed and they lose control and cause an accident."

87 record lows were reported nationwide. Helena Montana was 9 degrees, Worland Wyoming was 23 degrees, and Denver's low was 17 degrees.

That blast of arctic air is expected to head to the northeast and the Midwest will warm up slightly.

Still, more cold weather is predicted for the coming days, with winter still more than two months away.

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