Winter Storm Batters Midwestern States, Grounding Airplanes and Delaying Cars

FREEZING rain turned the Plains into a skating rink Saturday. Slick roads caused countless traffic accidents, and the National Guard opened armories to house hundreds of stranded travelers.

A winter storm spread a sheet of ice from Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska to Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, making driving all but impossible on many roads.

Two people were killed Saturday in separate weather-related accidents in Missouri. A highway death in Wisconsin and another in Iowa were also blamed on the treacherous conditions. At least 10 deaths in Texas and Oklahoma were blamed on the storm Thursday night and Friday.

One runway at Kansas City International Airport was closed all day Saturday and the other was closed twice for de-icing, delaying planes about an hour, said Sandra Campbell, spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration. Some airlines grounded their flights during the morning.

On Friday, two Boeing 737 jets slid off the runway while taxiing at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, but no injuries resulted.

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