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Can you describe early 1990s Valentine’s Day weather?

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Dear Tom,
When my husband and I were dating, he was at school in Champaign and I was working in Chicago. We tried to meet halfway for a Valentine’s Day dinner, but terrible weather prevented both of us from traveling-snow in Chicago and ice in Champaign. I believe that it was in the early 90s. Details?

Bonnie and Mark

Dear Bonnie and Mark,
It was Valentine’s Day 1990 when a major winter storm swept across the Midwest. The Chicago area was buried under 8 to 12 inches of snow, piled into deep drifts by strong northeast winds. The snow began shortly after noon and reached peak intensity in the evening bringing the city to a standstill. Downstate, the precipitation fell as freezing rain encasing much of central Illinois in ice downing trees and powerlines. The storm left tens of thousands without power, many for more than a week, and produced damage in excess of $30 million.

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