US, Canada ice storm: 5,00,000 powerless; 17 dead

  • AP, Augusta, US
  • |
  • Updated: Dec 25, 2013 08:41 IST

More than 500,000 homes and businesses were still without power Tuesday in parts of the central and northeastern United States and into Canada after a weekend ice and snow storm rolled across the region. At least 17 people have been killed in the storm.

The US National Weather Service said more snow was expected to move into the Northern High Plains and Central Rockies on Tuesday before rolling into the Great Lakes and Midwest by Wednesday morning.

In Canada, five people are reported dead from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning. Police said two people in Ontario died after using a gas generator to heat their blacked-out home northeast of Toronto.

Police in Quebec said carbon monoxide poisoning was believed to be the cause of three deaths in a chalet on the province's North Shore. Toronto officials said 85,000 customers were still without power Tuesday. While 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.

In Quebec, 31,700 customers remained without power as of early Tuesday. In New Brunswick, more than 40,000 customers were still in the dark. The region was under a cold alert, with temperatures expected to be well below freezing Tuesday.

Some US states kept emergency shelters open for people without power.

The number of customers in Maine without power spiked to more than 100,000 on Tuesday, even as Central Maine Power Co. sent more than 1,000 workers to help restore power throughout the state.

That was the case, too, in Michigan, where Jackson-based Consumers Energy - the state's largest utility - said it hadn't had this many outages during any Christmas week since its founding 126 years ago. Close to 17% of its 1.8 million electric customers lost power during the storm that hit late Saturday; roughly 1,52,000 remained without it Tuesday.


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