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Snow causes power failures in northeast Ohio

CLEVELAND (AP) -- More than 16,000 utility customers in northeast Ohio remained without power Friday in the aftermath of early season snow.

FirstEnergy said it hoped to restore power to most customers Friday but said some people might have to wait until Saturday.

The snow Thursday weighed down on trees still full with leaves, sending broken branches down on power lines.

A handful of schools, most in the traditional snow belt east of Cleveland, called off classes for a second day Friday.

A lake effect snow warning was in effect through midday. Areas of the Lake Metroparks district located along the wind-swept Lake Erie coastline northeast of Cleveland were affected.

When park rangers began rounds in Chapin Forest in Kirtland, they could hear trees and branches cracking and breaking, Metroparks Executive Director Paul Palagyi said.

Because there has not been much cold weather prior to Thursday's storms, many of the trees still had leaves, worsening the problem, Palagyi told The (Willoughby) News-Herald (bit.ly/Hjpd3O).

"The trees were just loaded with wet snow and ice," he said.