Hundreds of thousands still without power, outages could last through Christmas


Associated Press

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 23 at 4:03 PM

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Untreated roads and sidewalks from the upper Midwest to northern New England could remain a slippery, dangerous mess as people head out for last-minute shopping or holiday travel.

Temperatures are still below freezing in much of the area that's been hit by freezing rain. One woman driving in Maine says the roads got worse as she moved farther north.

About 400,000 homes and businesses are still without power in Michigan, upstate New York and northern New England, down from yesterday's peak of more than a half million.

The bulk of the outages are in Michigan. The state's largest utility says it will be days before most people get the electricity back, because of the difficulty of working around power lines that have been broken by ice.

At least nine deaths in the U.S. have been blamed on the storm. Five people were killed in flooding in Kentucky. A woman in Arkansas died after a tornado struck with winds of 130 miles an hour.

In New York's St. Lawrence County, almost two inches of ice fell, coating tree limbs and power lines. A state of emergency was declared to keep the roads clear of motorists.

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146-a-08-(Chief Frank Hall, Rolling Fork Fire Department, in interview)-"swept it away"-Fire Chief Frank Hall says the SUV got caught in the flash flood as the driver tried to cross a bridge early Sunday morning. COURTESY: WHAS-TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (23 Dec 2013)

<<CUT *146 (12/23/13)££ 00:08 "swept it away"

126-a-13-(Bruce Terry, forecaster, National Weather Service, in AP interview)-"be much colder"-National Weather Service forecaster Bruce Terry says icy areas in Michigan and upstate New York won't see much of a thaw. (23 Dec 2013)

<<CUT *126 (12/23/13)££ 00:13 "be much colder"

APPHOTO CPTM103: Travelers line up after dozens of flights were canceled or delayed by Sunday's ice storm at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, J.P. Moczulski) (23 Dec 2013)

<<APPHOTO CPTM103 (12/23/13)££

APPHOTO MIDTN102: Ice melts as it falls off a tree on the campus of Oakland University on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013 in Rochester Hills, Michigan after weekend storms blanketed the area with ice. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Elizabeth Conley) (22 Dec 2013)

<<APPHOTO MIDTN102 (12/22/13)££