April blizzards--'sno foolin'

''Though April blizzards may come your way . . . ''

From Michigan to Massachusetts, people could only hang onto their hats, smile at each other, and shake their heads in disbelief as a swirling snowstorm smacked the greening Midwest and Northeast with as much as nearly a foot of snow.

In many areas the spring crocuses had come up only a few days before and spring flower shows had opened with a burst of daffodils, tulips, and other colorful blooms. Most snow shovels and plows had already been stashed away for winters to come. But in Chicago, 250 plows and salt spreaders were dusted off to battle the nearly 10 inches dumped on the city, Monitor correspondent Lucia Mouat reports.

In New York City, forecasts called for 10 to 12 inches of snow, accompanied by gale force winds. Up to 14 inches was forecast in Massachusetts.

A foot of snow socked Muskegon, Mich., bringing the season total to a record-setting 173.1 inches. Snow fell an inch an hour in Detroit, thunderstorms and hail hit the Southeast, and snow and wind strafed the Western mountains.

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