Massive Midwest winter storm tapers off

Livestock gather to be fed during a snow storm near Maysville, Ky. Monday, Jan. 2, 2012.
AP Photo/The Ledger Independent

A major snow storm that slammed the Midwest has begun to taper off, but not before causing multi-car pileups in three states on a snowy Monday that injured more than 20 people and temporarily shut major highways.

Still, while the snow has tapered off, Arctic air is settling over much of the Eastern United States, bringing some of the coldest temperatures so far this winter.

Parts of Michigan are digging out after a winter storm brought as much as 17 inches of snow, strong winds and hazardous driving conditions.

Some schools in Allegan, Cass and Van Buren counties in the southwestern Lower Peninsula were closed Tuesday following the snow, which began Sunday.

The National Weather Service says Allegan County received up to 15 inches of snow from Sunday through Monday evening. In the Upper Peninsula, more than 17 inches was reported in Houghton County.

The weather service says a winter storm warning was lifted Tuesday in the northwestern Lower Peninsula. It was in effect for areas including Gaylord, where at least 8 inches was reported, and Traverse City, where several inches fell.

Snow has tapered off in Ohio, where a storm left up to 10 inches on the ground and contributed to a highway pileup involving as many as 20 vehicles.

A lake effect snow warning was extended until 7 p.m. Tuesday in seven northeast Ohio counties. Forecasters say areas could get up to 3 more inches of snow.

The National Weather Service says Ashtabula County was left with up to 10 inches on Monday. Areas near Cleveland had 6 inches or more on the ground.

Though snow was lighter elsewhere in Ohio, authorities say it was a factor in numerous crashes. The State Highway Patrol says 15-20 vehicles were in a pileup Monday afternoon on Interstate 77 in southeast Ohio. Three people were hospitalized with injuries not life-threatening.

A winter weather advisory remains in effect in central and most of the eastern counties of Kentucky, but drier air is moving into the commonwealth and snow flurries are ending.

Slippery driving conditions still plague motorists Tuesday morning.

On Monday afternoon, eight people were injured and 41 vehicles had to be towed after chain-reaction crashes on Interstate 75 near Dry Ridge in northern Kentucky. None of the injuries was life-threatening.

Another slippery section of Interstate 75 was the undoing of a tanker truck later Monday when it slid, struck a car sending it into a second car and rupturing the cargo tank of the truck. The highway was closed while a diesel fuel spill was cleaned up. There was an injury involved.

In the Corbin area, snow caused whiteout conditions at times that resulted in several wrecks and led to school being canceled on Tuesday in Whitley County, according to the Times-Tribune. Several minor crashes were also reported in Laurel and Knox counties.

Travel conditions were expected to improve throughout Tuesday.

The National Weather Service says heavy lake effect snow showers have dumped about a foot of snow on part of far northern Indiana.

A weather spotter says about 12.5 inches of snow was on the ground a few miles northeast of South Bend, while the city of South Bend had about six inches on the ground.

Snowfall amounts ranged widely in the region as bands of snow showers rolled off Lake Michigan, dumping about five inches in Elkhart and about 9.5 inches in the Elkhart County town of Middlebury.

Light snow showers were expected to continue throughout Tuesday in the region, but the weather service said less than an inch of new snow is expected in northern Indiana.