Dec 11, 2009 12:36 PM by MSNBC

Blizzard traps dozens of cars in western N.Y.

Blinding snow stranded more than a 100 motorists in western New York on Friday while bad weather again paralyzed the Midwest and heavy rains caused havoc in Southern California.

In New York, dramatic efforts were under way as state police managed to make contact with many motorists, and "there are no medical emergencies at this time," one trooper told The Buffalo News early Friday.

Troopers riding ATVs and Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies on snowmobiles tried to reach drivers locked in treacherous conditions.

"If folks have been touch with stranded loved ones having a medical emergency, they will go to the top of the list," State Police Capt. Michael P. Nigrelli told the newspaper. "Just try and provide us with a description of the car. Anything that we can zero in on them."

At zero visibility, the task was tough. On the Thruway, shutdown at 1:30 a.m. Friday, a considerable number of vehicles were still stuck in white and ice on unpassable roads.

Another 5 to 9 inches of heavy and damp snow was expected over northern New York, though western Michigan was expected to see an inch or two on Friday.

Storm pummels nation
Meanwhile, a storm dumped more ice, snow and freezing rain throughout the Midwest.

Back-to-back storms also moved through Southern California, snarling Friday morning traffic with fender-benders and prompting new mudslide worries in fire-scarred areas.

An overnight storm dumped about a quarter-inch of rain in Los Angeles and more than a half-inch in Burbank, the National Weather Service said.

In Wisconsin, the state faced another day with sub-zero wind chills before average early-December temperatures set in.

Behind this system, slightly warmer temperatures were expected as clockwise flow around the ridge pulled warmer air into the Northern and Central Plains.

New England was expected to remain in the 20s and 30s, while temperatures in the teens were forecast for the Midwest.

A deadly, windy storm paralyzed most of the nation on Thursday. Power failures in the Midwest, stranded hunters in the West and howling winds that helped blow over a bus in New York provided miseries from the first major storm of the season.

Emergency rooms took in people who had slipped and fallen, overdone shoveling or reached their hands into clogged snowblowers, while tow trucks freed drivers from the sides of icy roads and everyday residents simply struggled to get around in the frigid winds.

At least 17 people died in the meandering storm, including a man found Wednesday outside his pickup in central Iowa and a North Carolina driver killed when a tree was blown onto his pickup.




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