'Ridiculously heavy': Huge winter storm makes way for already hurting Midwest
The winter storm that has coated the Pacific Northwest with a thick blanket of ice was sweeping east on Friday, threatening more heavy snow across a huge part of the country from the Rocky Mountains through the Great Lakes region.
The storm was expected to race across the upper Plains overnight into Friday and wallop the Midwest and the Great Lakes region by Saturday morning, forecasters said.
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The storm could leave behind 2 feet of snow in Yosemite National Park in Nevada and parts of Wyoming and Utah.
One person was dead in Oregon — a man in his late 50s who was found covered in a layer of ice and snow in his driveway Wednesday night in Albany,the Linn County Sheriff's Office said.
And the bombardment won't let up on its way east. Green Bay and Madison could both get more than a foot of snow by the weekend, forecasters said.
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Morgan A. Stoutenger was pronounced dead at a hospital and the driver of the car they were in, Jakob D. Robinson was in critical condition, according to police. The driver of the other car suffered a leg injury, police said. The crash is still under investigation.
Near-whiteout conditions are forecast around Lake Erie as the western storm moves in later, the National Weather Service said. Authorities on Wednesday night closed the Buffalo Skyway, a critical segment of New York State Route 5 through the city.
"These lake-effect snow bands, the snow is so ridiculously heavy that the ground gets slippery under them really, really, really fast, and visibility goes down to zero," said Ari Sarsalari, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.
The snow did help out police in Michigan, however.
Two men, ages 17 and 19, were arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of trying to rob a gun store in Roseville, about 10 miles northeast of Detroit.
The men, who haven't been identified, hooked a tow strap to the store's security bars and tried to pull them off with their pickup truck — which promptly got stuck in the snow, NBC station WDIV of Detroit reported.
The men fled on foot, but they were found and arrested 3 miles away, police said.
They weren't hard to find. Cops simply followed their footprints in the snow.