Winter Weather Plaguing Some Parts of Country

A new wave of icy weather struck some parts of the country Dec. 10 making things worse for many suffering from a massive weekend ice storm.

18 deaths are now be blamed on the frigid temperatures, most from accidents on treacherous roads.

Hundreds of thousands are without power, with fears it could be weeks before it's restored.

Roads were glazed with freezing rain Dec. 11 in Kansas City, where power was knocked out to 70,000 customers.

In Chicago, a frigid mist coated highways and slowed the commute to a crawl.

It's all part of the latest ice storm to blanket the Midwest overnight--snapping trees, closing roads and cancelling flights.

"We don't have anywhere to go, so I'm thankful," stated Jackie Spencer, who is staying in an emergency center.

Jackie Spencer is one of a half-million customers without electricity. She 's staying in a shelter near Oklahoma City with her children, the youngest just seven-weeks-old.

"We didn't have any hot water, but I had to make my baby some bottles, so I was like, I just didn't want to stay," said Spencer.

Oklahoma is dealing with the biggest power outage in state history. Officials say, at one point, one out of every three people in the state were without electricity.

"What we do know is this, that this will be likely a multi-day event. Our customers will continue, or will see their power come on in maybe a matter of hours, but some are going to take a matter of days," explained Brian Alford, of Oklahoma Gas and Electric.

The ice storm moved in from the Southwest, fueled by warm moist air from the Gulf. The warm air rises over the cold air on the ground, and when the precipitation falls, it freezes.

"This is somewhat unusual in that it covers such a large area. It can persist for quite a while. This particular event we are looking at about 18-24 hour period of freezing precipitation," stated Mike Looney, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service.

At Chicago's busy O'Hare Airport, more than 250 flights have already been canceled the morning of Dec. 11.

It's the same story at airports throughout the ice-covered Midwest.


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