Storm ices up Midwest, leaves 17 dead
OKLAHOMA CITY – A wintry storm caked the center of the nation with a thick layer of ice Monday, blacking out more than 600,000 homes and businesses, and more icy weather was on the way. At least 17 deaths in Oklahoma and Missouri were blamed on the conditions, with 15 of the victims killed on slick highways.
A state of emergency was declared for all of Oklahoma, where the sound of branches snapping under the weight of the ice echoed through Oklahoma City.
The National Weather Service posted ice and winter storm warnings today for parts of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois. Missouri declared an emergency on Sunday and put the National Guard on alert.
Oklahoma utilities said a half-million customers were blacked out as power lines snapped, the biggest power outage in state history, and utilities in Missouri said more than 100,000 homes and business had no power.
At O’Hare International Airport, about 100 flights were canceled by Monday afternoon, said Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride.