- Parts of the country socked by a wild weekend storm will be covered with ice and without power through Christmas and beyond thanks to a steady diet of freezing rain and cold temperatures.
The first full day of winter, Sunday, brought a mix including snow in the Midwest and balmy temperatures along the Mid-Atlantic. Rain and melting snow led to swelling creeks and streams, closed roads and flooded underpasses in Indiana, Ohio and other Great Lakes states.
More than 390,000 homes and businesses were without power yesterday in Michigan, upstate New York and northern New England, down from Sunday's peak of more than half a million. Most 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 78,000, and the cold persisted.
"It's certainly not going away," Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, said yesterday. "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-minute shopping or holiday travel.
At least 11 deaths in the U.S. were blamed on the storm, including five people killed in flooding in Kentucky.
More than 4,000 flights were behind schedule, the majority of those in New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Houston.