Cold stays put as utilities work to get power back

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 24, 2013 at 6:35 am •  Published: December 24, 2013
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Roads remained slick and utility crews were busy Tuesday trying to turn the lights back on from the Midwest to the Northeast on one of the busiest travel days of the year after a messy storm rolled across the country.

At least 11 people have been killed in the storm that started Saturday and lingered into late Monday, ice building up on tree branches and power lines and causing travel headaches in several states.

While the rain, freezing rain and ice was expected to subside, forecasters said cold temperatures would stick around for most of the week in areas socked by the wild weekend storm. There will be snow moving into the Northern High Plains and Central Rockies on Tuesday then sliding into the Great Lakes and Midwest by Wednesday morning.

States kept emergency shelters open for people who would be without power, some through Christmas.

Rain and melting snow led to swelling creeks and streams, closed roads and flooded underpasses in Indiana, Ohio and other Great Lakes states. Some creeks were 4 to 9 feet above flood stage and expected to subside by Tuesday.

More than 370,000 homes and businesses were still without power Tuesday morning in Michigan, upstate New York and northern New England, down from Sunday's peak of more than half a million. About 250,000 of them were in Michigan, whose largest utilities said it'll be days before power is restored because of the difficulty of working around broken lines.

In Maine, the number of customers without power spiked to more than 100,000, and the cold persisted.

"It's certainly not going away," Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, said Monday. "In fact, we don't have very many areas where we're expecting temperatures to rise above freezing."

That means untreated roads and sidewalks from the upper Midwest to northern New England will remain a slippery, dangerous mess as people head out for last-second shopping or holiday travel.



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