Tragedy in ‘Show Me State’

ST. LOUIS (AP) – As the death toll from a powerful winter storm rose to 30 across six states, utility crews worked on Monday to restore electricity to about 330,000 Missouri households and businesses.

Crews hoped to take advantage of moderate weather expected Monday to bring power back on before an expected drop in temperatures to the single digits Monday night.

The remains of the storm system streamed toward New England on Monday, shutting down numerous businesses, day care centers and schools in Maine with a mixture of sleet and snow that made roads treacherous.

Lower Michigan and parts of New England could see more than a foot of snow Monday, as rain fell from the lower Mississippi Valley up through the Ohio Valley, The National Weather Service said. On the back side of the storm, snow in Iowa closed some schools Monday.

Waves of freezing rain, sleet and snow since Friday had been blamed for at least 15 deaths in Oklahoma, six in Missouri, five in Iowa, two in Texas and one each in New York and Maine.

Seven of the Oklahoma deaths occurred in one accident, in which a minivan carrying 12 people slid off an icy highway Sunday and struck an oncoming truck, the Highway Patrol said. All of the van’s occupants were adult residents of Mexico, who were traveling from Arizona to North Carolina, Highway Patrol Capt. Chris West said.

As the storm blew across the lower Great Lakes and northern New England on Monday, a layer of heavy ice up to a half-inch thick knocked out power to more than 11,000 customers in northern New York and was blamed for dozens of traffic accidents, authorities officials said.

The ice accumulation also blacked out at least 1,000 utility customers in New Hampshire, but for the northern part of the state, ski areas were celebrating their first significant snowfall of the season.

Most of the Missouri power outages were caused by the weight of freezing rain snapping tree branches and dropping them onto power lines.

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