National Guard Plows Buffalo

National Guard troops headed into the neighborhoods of Buffalo Tuesday to help shovel snow as the snow-weary city dug out from its latest storm.

A band of lake-effect snow dumped 5.4 inches on Buffalo on Monday, bringing the city's total since Jan. 1 to 41.6 inches. Buffalo Niagara International Airport, which was closed from 3 to 6 p.m., reported 4 inches in just one hour.

Mayor Anthony Masiello declared a state of emergency Monday and asked the state for help. More than 30 troops from a National Guard engineer battalion were sent in with dump trucks and loaders.

Correspondent Marie Rice of CBS affiliate WBIV-TV in Buffalo reports the plows keep pushing, but many residents living on the still snow-clogged streets are still waiting for their first sight of relief.

Ironically, ice is about to bring relief from the snow. Lake Erie is on the verge of freezing over for the winter, and that means less moisture will evaporate to feed storms in the Buffalo area, just east of the lake.

"That should bring about a decrease in the heavy lake-effect snow that we've had," said Alan Blackburn, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. He said Erie could freeze over by the end of the week.

Elsewhere around the Great Lakes, northern Indiana got up to 6.5 inches of lake-effect snow overnight, boosting the total on the ground at Plymouth to 24 inches.

In central Illinois, snow has led to at least one death in a 20-car Champaign County pile-up on what officials are calling "black ice." CBS affiliate WCIA-TV reports the driver of one of those vehicles was killed when his car slid into a truck. Authorities say a four-mile stretch of experimental pavement instantly became a sheet of invisible ice when temperatures dropped.

Up to 10 inches of snow fell Monday in Michigan's lake-effect snow belts, and several inches around Detroit coated already slippery roads.

"The drive for me was OK. I'm a safe driver. But somebody flew past and did a great big spin," commuter Sharron Davis said Tuesday. "It's very slippery and you've got crazy fools."

Some reports indicated that this January could go down as one of the snowiest in Michigan's history. An estimated 19 inches of snow has fallen so far in January. Back in 1978, the record was set when nearly 30 inches of January snow fell.

And the cold and lake-effect snow in northern Ohio have cut into supplies of everything from road salt to winter clothes.

"I sold a shovel with a broken handle and a bent blade to a guy on Sunday," said Larry Rudledge, manager of an Ace Hardware store in the Akron area. "I gave him several bucks off and he was really happy."

Downriver from Buffalo, the spray created by Niagara Falls is coating rocks, cliffs, lamp posts, and trees with ice.

"This is beautiful," said Ron Stoner, a retiree from Port Franks, Ontario, who visited the falls with his wfe, Alida. "It's beautiful in the summer, too, but it's two different worlds."

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