Icy weather hits nation's midsection - East Valley Tribune: Nation / World

Icy weather hits nation's midsection

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Posted: Friday, January 12, 2007 1:33 pm | Updated: 7:32 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

TULSA, Okla. - Freezing rain fell in the nation's midsection Friday, and temperatures plunged from Minnesota to Las Vegas as a storm rolled in that could leave several states coated in ice.

At least two deaths have been blamed on the storm, some schools closed early Friday, and dozens of flights were delayed.

"It could definitely be a paralyzing storm. This is going to be a long-term event," said Max Blood, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Tulsa, where at least two airlines, Southwest and Atlantic Southeast, canceled all afternoon flights.

Several inches of ice was expected in parts of Kansas by the end of the weekend. A 16-year-old boy riding to school Friday was killed in the Kansas City, Mo., suburb of Lee's Summit when the pickup truck he was in slid on ice and overturned, police said.

In Oklahoma City, a lumber truck flipped on an icy Interstate 44 exit ramp Friday, killing the driver, the state highway patrol said.

Utility crews were bracing for another round of bad weather as they working to restore power to irrigation systems, stock wells and oil wells, which sustained significant damage during back-to-back blizzards a few weeks ago. In the Oklahoma Panhandle, power was restored late Thursday to the final 15 homes hit previously, Tri-County Electric Cooperative reported.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation crews and city crews were in the field Friday working to prevent icing on bridges and overpasses, which are typically the first portions of roadway to freeze over.

In Tulsa, 50 spreaders loaded with salt and sand were prepared to hit the streets by late Friday.

"The way it looks, we'll be running all weekend, maybe longer," said Dan Crossland, the city's street maintenance supervisor.

Forecasters warned for freezing temperatures and up to 2 inches of snow in southern Nevada.

In Minnesota, the temperature dropped to 24 below zero around dawn Friday in Hallock, in the state's northwestern corner, the National Weather Service said. Winds up to 25 mph made it feel closer to 40 below zero in much of western Minnesota.

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