Winter storm pummels Midwest, Metrodome deflates
A blizzard dumped thigh-deep snow on some areas of the upper Midwest on Sunday, playing havoc with travelers and causing the roof of a large stadium, the Metrodome, to collapse in Minneapolis.
The snow hit Wisconsin and Minnesota the hardest as it moved eastward.
Blizzard and winter storm warnings were in effect for Chicago and parts of northern Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan and North and South Dakota. Upwards of 20 inches of snow fell on some areas, the National Weather Service said.
As much as 22 inches of snow fell in the metropolitan area of Minneapolis-St. Paul, local media said.
The snow-covered inflatable roof over the Metrodome tore and collapsed, allowing snow to plummet onto the playing field inside the stadium early on Sunday.
This prompted the National Football League to reschedule a game between the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants due to be played at the stadium for Monday night at Ford Field in Detroit. The game already had been postponed after the Giants were stranded in Kansas City when their charter flight was unable to land in Minneapolis because of the blizzard.
The Chicago Department of Aviation said about 1,200 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport and flights were delayed by at least 45 minutes. Another 250 flights were canceled at Midway airport. More cancellations and delays were expected as the winter storm intensifies.
Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle declared a state of emergency for the state's 72 counties as a precaution, calling the National Guard to active duty to help local authorities.
Photo shows Emily Feiten helping dig out a friend's car after it was plowed in, following 17 inches of snowfall, in Minneapolis December 12, 2010. Credit: REUTERS/Eric Miller
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