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Ice storm knocks power to half million, closes roads and kills 18

December 11 '07: The Associated Press reported that weather officials are posting winter storm warnings for several states as the Midwest ice stormscontinue to drop inches of ice and sleet and snow. So far, 18 people have been killed while about 600,000 people are without power. (NB** Links to live pages for continual update).

Electric utility companies in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado were reporting power outages. "Oklahoma utilities said Monday that 500,000 customers were blacked out as power lines snapped under the weight of ice and falling trees - the biggest power outage in state history. Utilities in Missouri had more than 100,000 homes and businesses without power," the AP reported.

"Schools across Oklahoma were closed and some hospitals were relying on backup power generators," the AP reported. "The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers sent 50 generators and three truckloads of bottled water from Texas to distribute to blacked-out areas of Oklahoma."

Meanwhile, the Weather Channel reported that the same low pressure system is also affecting states as far south and west as Arizona where heavy rains are causing flash floods. By Thursday, the stalled system is expected to move to the East Coast where winter storm weather is expected for the Northeast.

Electrical companies told the AP that they were ready for the storm and are handling the downed power lines but that "We've got a massive situation here and it's probably going to be a week to 10 days before we get power on to everybody," Ed Bettinger, the spokesman for Public Service Company told the AP. "It looks like a war zone."

Currently, portions of Insterstates 35 and 44 were shut down in Oklahoma.

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