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Mid-May storm buries Colorado flower beds under 3 feet of snow

Downtown Sutton, Nebraska (cityofsutton.org)
Downtown Sutton, Nebraska (cityofsutton.org)

By Barbara Goldberg

(Reuters) - A mid-May snowstorm dumped as much as 3 feet of snow on Colorado's Rocky Mountains on Monday while the U.S. Midwest braced for hail and other severe weather, forecasters said.

Snowplows cleared the way for the Monday morning rush hour after the storm, which is expected to taper off by midday, blanketed Denver with more than 4 inches and the mountains northeast of Steamboat Springs with 36 inches of snow, said Jim Kalina, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder, Colorado.

No significant delays or cancellations were reported at Denver International Airport, and no records were broken in a state used to late spring snowstorms like the one that dumped 10.7 inches of snow on May 26, 1950.

"That's Colorado for you," said Kalina.

Snow has been falling and accumulating over the past four days in Colorado, said Pat Slattery, weather service spokesman. Deep snow measuring 27 inches also was reported in the Uinta Mountains in northeastern Utah, said NWS meteorologist Tom Renwick.

Hail and damaging winds were forecast for Monday in parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, southeast Kansas, Oklahoma, central Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, northern Indiana and northwest Ohio, Slattery said.

The severe weather forecast comes a day after a tornado on Sunday heavily damaged Sutton, Nebraska, ripping off roofs of buildings including the small town's City Hall, said police chief Tracey Landenberger.

Sutton is about 80 miles southwest of Lincoln, Nebraska.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Lisa Von Ahn)

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