Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Globe Xmas Gift: Ice Christmas

"Death toll from weekend storm reaches 14; A half-million still have no power" Associated Press, December 25, 2013

NEW YORK — Repair crews were working around the clock Tuesday to restore electricity to a half-million customers — from Maine to Michigan and into Canada — who lost power in the weekend ice storm.

But thousands prepared for a holiday at home without electricity or packed up their wrapped gifts and headed off to stay with family or friends.

The National Weather Service said more snow moved into the Northern High Plains and Central Rockies on Tuesday, and the storm is expected to roll into the Great Lakes and Midwest by Wednesday morning.

The nationwide death toll from the storm reached at least 14 on Tuesday, when a 50-year-old man in Knox, Maine, was overcome by carbon monoxide fumes from a generator. It was the second reported death attributed to fumes from a generator during the storm. Police in Michigan also attributed to the storm two deaths in a collision that happened Monday.

The number of customers in Maine without power spiked to more than 100,000 on Tuesday.

See: Efforts to restore power continue in Vermont

Across the border in Canada, Toronto officials said 90,000 customers were still without power Tuesday. Although that was down from 300,000 people at the height of the weekend outages, some were likely to be in the dark until after Christmas.

That was the case, too, in Michigan, where the state’s largest utility said it had not had this many power failures during any Christmas week since its founding 126 years ago. Close to 17 percent of its 1.8 million electric customers lost power during the storm.


RelatedThousands still without power across US, Canada

"Winter storm delays flights, kills 5 in UK, France" Associated Press, December 25, 2013

LONDON — A severe winter storm caused major travel problems in parts of western Europe on Tuesday, stranding passengers traveling for Christmas at Paris and London airports and leaving tens of thousands of homes without power.

The storm caused four deaths in Britain, including a man who jumped into a fast-flowing river to try and rescue his dog. The severe weather also left a 12-year-old boy crushed to death beneath construction materials in Normandy, France.

In Britain, thousands of people trying to get away for the holidays were affected by reduced or canceled train services due to landslides and fallen trees and flooded roads. Flight delays were triggered by power outages at London Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal.

The airport, the country’s second-largest, said it was investigating the cause of the outages, but said they were weather related.