The Winter That Refused to Die

Desolation and escapes from tragedy amid April's ill winds

Warm-weather fashions draped the mannequins in department-store windows. Spruced-up stadiums awaited the opening ceremonies of the baseball season. Dogwood and azaleas were in bloom, and the calendar insisted that spring was entering its third week and Easter was just days off. But then the winter that would not go away struck again, blasting much of the nation last week with freezing temperatures, blustery winds and snowstorms that would have seemed excessive for February.

The sudden plunge back into the ice age sent statisticians to the record books. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures...

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