The epic winter of 1982 showed no signs of softening yesterday as the latest crippling storm out of the Midwest, already blamed for 24 deaths, pushed eastward with icy floods, freezing rain and heavy snow.
As the storm swept across western Pennsylvania and New York into New England, thousands more homes went dark, hundreds more schools closed and highways became more cluttered with wreckage.
Ice jams formed by weeks of record cold caused flooding of streams and rivers in parts of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
In downtown Oil City, Pa., as much as six feet of water coursed through the streets, knocking out power, forcing at least 50 people to flee homes and businesses and closing down schools. Streets were left filled with ice blocks.
In Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, where some communities got as much as two feet of snow over the weekend, National Guardsmen and volunteers with snowmobiles and four-wheel-drive trucks rescued thousands of stranded motorists during the night.
Thousands of other travelers in the Midwest spent the night in emergency shelters, such as the Zion Evangelical United Church of Christ in Indianapolis, which housed 250.
In Skokie, Ill., Sara Feldman, 91, was found frozen to death yesterday on a mound of snow outside her home. She was last seen Sunday night, and her family said she had been in bad health.
In St. Louis, which got 19 inches of snow--its greatest one-day snowfall since 1912--about 100 National Guardsmen were called up at the request of Mayor Vincent Schoemehi to help clear the streets of abandoned cars and trucks.
The National Guard started shuttling nurses and doctors to hospitals, and 300 people were stranded at 13 armories in central and northern Indiana.
Many roads in central and southern Illinois remained closed. Up to 22 inches of snow fell in the region and winds gusting to 45 mph built drifts six feet high.
Rain and freezing rain knocked out the power to about 9,000 homes in Massachusetts and caused a crash involving 30 cars and a bus on Route 2 at Westminister.
Ice also pulled down power lines in Columbia County, south of Albany, N.Y., and half a foot of snow closed schools and the airport in Buffalo.