A determined winter storm buried Ohio and beyond in snow yesterday, dumping a record 20.4 inches on Columbus and about a foot each on Cincinnati and Cleveland. Authorities closed roads as blizzard-velocity wind whipped the fallen flakes into three-foot-high drifts and reduced visibility. "It's horrible out there," said a FedEx driver at a truck stop northeast of Columbus. "Trucks are just spinning. In my days of driving I've never seen anything like it."
Flights out of Cleveland's international airport were canceled. In Columbus, a plane slid off the runway, but no one was injured. Three Cleveland men died while shoveling snow, and officials blamed one Ohio traffic death on the weather. Chicago, too, was blasted by snow and its coldest late-season temperatures in five years as the storm headed over the Great Lakes and into the Northeast.