Midwest in deep freeze

Winter storm warnings posted for Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois; Oklahoma still reeling from winter storm.

OKLAHOMA CITY | December 11, 2007

Ice storm downed power lines and trees throughout Oklahoma.
Credit: Boyce Bowdon

Ice and freezing rain covered much of the nation's midsection Tuesday, leaving nearly 1 million homes and businesses without power. The storm has been blamed for as many as two dozen deaths, most of them in traffic accidents.

Winter storm warnings were posted for parts of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois. A state of emergency was declared in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.

A federal disaster declaration was issued for Oklahoma, which was hit hardest by the storm, where hundreds of thousands of residents remained without power. Shelters were opened throughout the state at community centers, churches and other venues.

The storms made road travel dangerous, disrupted air traffic, forced schools and businesses to close and blacked out utility customers in Illinois and Kansas as well as in Oklahoma, where officials described it as the worst power outage in the state's history.

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