Weather eases in upper US Midwest as death toll climbs to 22

Sunny skies helped road crews deal with the remnants of a blustery snowstorm that blacked out thousands of homes and businesses and was blamed for at least 22 traffic deaths in the upper US Midwest. Sgt. Michael Melgaard of the Wisconsin State Patrol in Eau Claire said driving conditions improved substantially for holiday travelers starting in the late morning. "The roads were clear for the most part and traffic was moving at normal speeds," he said Monday afternoon. "It seemed like there was a lot of steady holiday traffic, but it's starting to wane now as people are getting to their destinations." But in Michigan, crashes on icy roads in the Detroit area Monday evening caused multiple injuries and shut down sections of three interstate highways, radio station WWJ-AM reported.