600K Lose Power in Icy Storm

15 fatalities reported; weather service warns of more storms tomorrow
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2007 6:55 PM CST
600K Lose Power in Icy Storm
A floral decoration is encased in ice at an Oklahoma City cemetery, Monday, Dec. 10, 2007. A winter storm coated much of Oklahoma in ice Monday, knocking out power to more than 400,000 homes and businesses, disrupting flight operations and leading to traffic accidents that killed 12 people. (AP Photo)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – An icy storm plunged more than 600,000 Midwesterners into freezing darkness today, crippling power and causing about 15 fatalities on slippery roads, the AP reports. Oklahoma fared worst, declaring a state of emergency as schools shut down and hospitals ran on backup generators. More is on the way, according to the National Weather Service—which posted ice and storm warnings for parts of several states tomorrow.

About a half million Oklahomans lost power as inch-thick ice weighed down power lines and felled tree limbs. Meanwhile, airports in Tulsa and Oklahoma City grounded planes while Greyhound bus passengers huddled for warmth in a shelter. FEMA and the US Army are sending generators and bottled water to aid the embattled state, which officials say may wait a week for full power. (Read more Midwest stories.)

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