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January 28, 2009
Ice storm invades central plains
Well over a million people shivered in ice-bound homes across the country Wednesday, waiting for warmer weather and for utility crews to restring power lines brought down by a storm that killed 23 as it took a snowy, icy journey from the Southern Plains to the East Coast. But with temperatures plunging, utility officials warned that it could be mid-February before electricity is restored to some of the hardest-hit places. The worst of the power failures were in Kentucky, Arkansas and Ohio. Just getting to their source was difficult for utility crews. Ice-encrusted tree limbs and power lines blocked glazed roads, and cracking limbs pierced the air like popping gunfire as they snapped. In Kentucky, National Guard soldiers were dispatched to remove the debris. Oklahoma, already struggling to restore power there, planned to send crews to help in Arkansas later in the week. (17 images)

Ice covers a branch in the foreground, as a motorist cleans snow off her car in downtown Muskogee, Okla. on Tuesday, Jan. 27. AP / The Tulsa World / James Gibbard



Students battle in a snowball fight Wednesday, Jan. 28, in Dunn Meadow on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, Ind. After the university canceled classes due to snow, several students made their way to the open area to throw snowballs, build snow forts, make snow angels and sled down hills. AP / Indiana Daily Student / James Brosher

A huge tree lies on a house in Cotter, Ark., Wednesday, Jan. 28. Ice and snow slammed northern Arkansas Tuesday uprooting trees, downing power lines and caused widespread power outages. AP / The Baxter Bulletin / Kevin Pieper

A red Robin lands on a tree branch along Wentworth Avenue in Clifton, Ohio on Wednesday, Jan. 28. A winter storm spread a glaze of ice and snow from the southern Plains to the East Coast, leaving blackouts, hundreds of school closings and treacherous travel conditions in its wake. At least 19 deaths are blamed on the storm. AP / The Cincinnati Enquirer / Gary Landers

A cyclist makes his way through downtown streets during an early morning snow storm in Denver, Monday, Jan. 26. AP / Bill Ross

Neal Crawford clears fallen trees from his front yard on North Walnut Ave. following ice and wintry weather on Wed., Jan. 28, in Fayetteville, Ark. AP / Beth Hall

Frost forms on a window during the cold winter weather in Clarence, N.Y., Tuesday Jan. 27. The National Weather Service posted ice storm and winter storm warnings Tuesday along a broad swath from Texas and Oklahoma through the Mississippi and Ohio valleys to Maryland,Virginia and into the Northeast. AP / David Duprey

A vehicle drives under a tree that is weighed down by ice on Old Wire Road as a result of wintry weather on Wednesday Jan. 28, in Fayetteville, Ark. AP / Beth Hall

Ice forms on a street sign on Winter Hawk Road in Boyle County near Danville, Ky., on Tuesday, Jan. 27. Gov. Steve Beshear has declared a statewide emergency as a powerful winter storm barreled through the state. AP / The Advocate-Messenger / Clay Jackson

Traffic on Interstate 65 travesl north Tuesday, Jan. 27. A winter mix of ice, rain and freezing temperatures blanketed south-central Kentucky, leaving thousands without power, closing schools and downing trees. (AP Photo/ Daily News, Joe Imel) AP / Daily News / Joe Imel

Crews work to clear snow from a taxi way at Lambert St. Louis International Airport Tuesday, Jan. 27, in St. Louis. Snow, freezing rain and sleet continued Tuesday across much of Missouri, causing hundreds of accidents, prompting power outages and forcing schools and colleges to close for the day. AP / Jeff Roberson

Aliya Robinson walks through downtown Denver during a snow storm that blew into Denver early Monday, Jan. 26. AP / Bill Ross

Brian VanSickle knocks a row of icicles off his home near downtown Evansville, Ind. on Wednesday, Jan. 28. The heaviest snowfall in 13 years buried central Indiana under a foot of snow Wednesday, shuttering schools and stores and leaving more than 100,000 southern Indiana homes and businesses without power after icy accumulations brought down power lines. AP / Evansville Courier & Press / Molly Bartels

Kootenai County firefighters wait to clear the scene of a minor-injury accident in the eastbound lanes of Interstate-90 near Highway 41 in Post Falls, Idaho following a short, but havoc-causing freezing rainfall that caused dozens of accidents Tuesday, Jan. 27, between Stateline and Coeur d'Alene. AP / Coeur d'Alene Press / Jerome A Pollos

Jose Martinez waits for a train in the morning cold at the DART commuter rail station in Plano,Texas, Tuesday, Jan 27. An ice storm is predicted for the area in the afternoon. AP / The Dallas Morning News / Randy Eli Groth

People walk past ice-covered trees on the University of Arkansas campus following ice and wintry weather on Wed., Jan 28, in Fayetteville, Ark. AP / Beth Hall

People line up to buy kerosene at the Fort Logan Trading Post in Stanford, Ky. on Wednesday, Jan. 28. Massive power outages Wednesday darkened much of Kentucky as layers of snow and ice left by a powerful storm created a huge mess for utility crews wrangling with downed trees and power lines. Outages spanning the state approached record proportions with at least 525,000 customers without power, said Andrew Melnykovych, a spokesman for the Kentucky Public Service Commission. It was the second-largest outage ever in Kentucky as the number kept rising throughout the day. AP / The Lexington Herald-Leader / Bill Estep

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