18 Dead In April Snow And Ice

Olive Rose scrapes ice and snow from her car before driving to work Tuesday, April 8. 2003, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
A reprise of winter dumped several inches of snow on the Midwest and East Coast, making highways slippery, postponing baseball games and frustrating fans of spring from Nebraska to New York.

"I love the cold weather, but I've had enough," said accountant John Gontaryki as he waited for a bus on a slush-coated Manhattan sidewalk Monday. "There's a time and a place for everything, and this has been too much."

More than a foot of snow fell in parts of Nebraska and southern Minnesota, and points in New Jersey were hit with 6 to 8 inches. Four inches accumulated in New York City's Central Park before the precipitation turned to icy drizzle.

And keep those shovels handy, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Acosta on The Early Show. Forecasters say more snow could fall in the Northeast by Wednesday.

"I thought we were supposed to have April showers. What happened to that?" said Randy Krominga, a custodian at an Iowa welcome center just south of the Minnesota line, where snow was blown by wind gusting to 50 mph.

Slush and freezing rain made for treacherous conditions on roadways. Seven university teachers and administrators from China were killed when their van went out of control on a slick highway in central Pennsylvania.

The storm also was blamed for two traffic deaths in Nebraska and two in Wisconsin. In Minnesota, a 69-year-old apparently died of a heart attack after clearing snow from his sidewalk.

The storm started when cold, northern air collided with wet weather surging out of the Gulf of Mexico. Snowfall began in Nebraska on Saturday, and the storm crept steadily eastward.

The snowfall — three weeks after the spring began — buried tulips, daffodils and cherry tree blossoms.

"There's watermelon in the supermarket, and there's snow on the ground," observed Diane Frasier, of Long Beach, N.Y. "You don't see that too often, right?"

The New York area's airports — Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark — remained open but reported delays. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates all three airports, said airlines canceled hundreds of flights.

Eager baseball fans struck out as home openers were canceled for the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates.

"The last couple of weeks, we seem to be getting teased with a little warm weather," said Herman Punter of Mount Holly, N.J. "I want it to go one way or the other."

In the South, thunderstorms slashed across central Mississippi, bringing heavy rain, hail and high wind that destroyed two businesses and 28 homes.

Albert Lea, Minn., received 14 inches of snow and Greeley, Neb., had 12. Sioux Falls, S.D., collected 7 inches.

Around the Great Lakes, the snow was preceded by a weekend ice storm blamed for four deaths in Michigan and three in upstate New York. The new snow hampered crews trying to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses.

The storm was an unwelcome reminder of a winter that was been harsher than last year's. New York City has had 4½ feet of snow, compared with only 3½ inches last year.

"I'm unsure if spring is actually ever coming," said Robbin Harris as she hurried into her Manhattan office building.