Temperatures to the North and above Freezing in the South Creates
Major Ice Storm)
storm has been blamed for at least 20 deaths and a glaze of ice
and snow caused widespread power failures from the Southern Plains
to the East Coast. Authorities said it could be a week before some
communities have electricity again. Tree limbs encased in ice tumbled
onto roads and crashed onto power lines in hard-hit Arkansas, Kentucky
and Oklahoma on Tuesday and overnight. In Arkansas - where ice was
3 inches thick in some places - people huddled next to portable
heaters and wood-burning fires as utilities warned electricity may
be out for a week or more.
than 300,000 customers in Arkansas lacked power Wednesday morning
and more than 375,000 in Kentucky. Public Service Commission spokesman
Andrew Melnykovych in Kentucky said the figure is second only to
the approximately 600,000 Kentucky customers who lost power when
the remnants of Hurricane Ike lashed the state with fierce winds
last September. In Indiana and Ohio, more than 160,000 homes and
businesses were in the dark as ice and snow coated the states. Ohio's
top Republican lawmaker, Senate President Bill Harris, slipped on
ice outside a hotel near the Statehouse in Columbus, broke a leg
and will miss the governor's State of the State address Wednesday.
Louisville Ky., more than a million homes and businesses left in
the cold without power Thursday in the wake of an icy winter storm
will face a lengthy wait for electricity to come back, even as federal
help was promised to two states hit hardest by the blast. Late Wednesday,
President Barack Obama signed requests from Kentucky Gov. Steve
Beshear and Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe for federal emergency declarations.
Crews - even the National Guard in Kentucky - worked around the
clock to resurrect power lines downed by thick ice in both states.
Officials in states from Oklahoma to West Virginia fought to do
the same. Utility officials estimated more than 1.3 million homes
and businesses across a wide swath of states were powerless early
Thursday, and warned it could be mid-February before some customers
had power. The storm has been blamed for at least 23 deaths so far.
May be Weeks before some parts affected by this Ice Storm
will get Power Back:
dipped into the 20s overnight after the above freezing areas experienced
the freezing rain and sleet creating this havoc. More than a half-million
were without power in Kentucky, where the power outages produced
by the ice storm were outdone only by the remnants of
Ike, which lashed the state with fierce winds
last year, leaving about 600,000 customers without power. "We've
got lots of counties that do not have any communication, any heat,
any power," Beshear, the state's governor, said Wednesday.
Tree limbs and power lines crackled like gunfire as they snapped,
crashing onto now-impassable roads that hampered recovery efforts
from the Southern Plains to the East Coast.
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