Deadly ice storm moves across US

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice on bicycles in Oklahoma.
Image: Kien Pham.

So far at least 15 people have died in a major ice storm in the United States which has left more than 600,000 residents and businesses across three states, without electricity. Officials for the utility companies say that this could be the worst ice storm in history.

"This particular storm is now the worst in company history in terms of customers affected," said Oklahoma Gas and Electric spokesman, Brian Alford.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has ice storm warnings still in effect for Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois where as much as one inch of ice can accumulate on outdoor surfaces.

NOAA US Weather alerts for December 10, 2007 at 01:03 UTC

A State of Emergency has already been declared in Missouri with Governor Matt Blunt saying "we are only just beginning to see the devastation from this series of storms." Bowling Green has already seen nearly two to three inches of ice since Saturday December 8. Most other areas of Missouri have received 1/2 inch to one inch of ice.

Illinois has also seen accumulation, with the greatest total of one inch received in Poplar Grove.

Edna, Columbus, Pittsburg, Independence and Hutchinson, Kansas have all received at least one inch of ice along with parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

The NWS says that more storms are on the way and more ice is likely across the same regions.

"A series of low pressure centers have brought ice and snow from the Rockies, Southern Plains, to the Midwest and portions of the Northeast. Several additional disturbances and the presence of shallow Arctic air will continue to bring bouts of freezing rain, sleet, and snow from the Southwest to the Plains States, Midwest, and Northeast over the next several days," said a statement on the NWS's website.


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