December 24, 2007 in Nation/World

11 deaths blamed on storms

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
 

MILWAUKEE – Highways were hazardous for holiday travelers Sunday and thousands of homes and businesses had no electricity in the Midwest as a storm blustered through the region with heavy snow and howling wind.

At least 11 deaths had been blamed on the weather.

Winter storm warnings were posted for parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan on Sunday as the core of the system headed north across the Great Lakes. Parts of Wisconsin already had a foot of snow, and up to a foot was forecast Sunday in northeastern Minnesota, the National Weather Service said.

Radar showed snow falling across much of Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota on Sunday and moving into parts of Michigan and Indiana.

“Everything is just an ice rink out there,” said Sgt. Steve Selby with the sheriff’s department in Rock County, Wis.

The weather system also spread locally heavy rain on Sunday from the Southeast to the lower Great Lakes.

Because of the wind, airlines canceled more than 300 flights Sunday at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the city Aviation Department said. Municipal officials said the wind had knocked out nearly 170 traffic signals, and there were more than 500 reports of fallen trees and limbs.

More than 11,000 homes and businesses were without power at some point Saturday in Wisconsin, utilities said. Michigan utilities reported some 74,500 customers were still without power Sunday night, and in Illinois about 24,000 customers were blacked out.


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