Winter ice storms snarl holiday travel for some, while others hit record highs
Winter ice storms: Unusual weather patterns have created record-setting warm weather in some parts of the country, while leaving other states coated in ice.
A steady diet of freezing rain and cold temperatures means parts of the country socked by a wild weekend storm will be covered with ice through Christmas and beyond.Skip to next paragraph
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After the first full day of winter brought everything from balmy temperatures along the Mid-Atlantic to snow in the Midwest and ice, snow, and flooding in the Great Lakes, utilities warned that some people who lost electricity could remain in the dark through Wednesday.
"It's certainly not going away," Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, said Monday morning of the precipitation and cold. "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. Parts of interior Maine were expected to get another quarter to half-inch of ice Monday.
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Authorities reduced the speed limit along a 107-mile stretch of the Maine Turnpike from Kittery to Augusta, as freezing rain continued to fall Monday morning and temperatures hovered around freezing. Dozens of flights out of Toronto were canceled while other airports in the storm-hit region were faring well despite the weather.
By late Sunday, ice and snow had knocked out power to 440,000 homes and businesses in Michigan, upstate New York and northern New England — about half of which had their power back by Monday morning. The storm also left more than 400,000 customers without electricity in eastern Canada.
At least nine deaths in the US were blamed on the storm, including five people killed in flooding in Kentucky and a woman who died after a tornado with winds of 130 mph struck in Arkansas. Five people were killed in Canada in highway accidents related to the storm.
Record high temperatures were reached in some Mid-Atlantic states this weekend, but temperatures were expected to drop back to the mid-30s by Monday night.
While the cold will continue to harass people, there's no major precipitation on the horizon through the end of the week, Curtis said.
"It will give people some time to recover from this," she said.