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Ice storm leaves 533,000 without power
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Utilities were bringing in out-of-state crews to help restore electric service after a weekend ice storm knocked out power to more than 530,000 customers in several states in the Central Plains, power companies said on Monday.
The weekend storm entered Oklahoma early Sunday, bringing freezing rain that caused significant ice accumulation on trees and overhead power lines. The weight of the ice pulled down tree branches and power lines, cutting power.
That system later moved across Kansas, Missouri and Illinois.
Oklahoma was the hardest hit, with the state's two biggest utilities, OGE Energy Corp's Oklahoma Gas & Electric and American Electric Power Co Inc's Public Service Co of Oklahoma reporting about 235,000 and 200,000 customer outages, respectively, late Monday.
Oklahoma City-based OG&E said the storm ranks as the utility's worst ice storm and warned customers that repairs could take up to 10 days. Crews have been called in from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi to assist local linemen and tree trimmers.
In Kansas and Missouri, a spokeswoman for Empire District Electric Co, the hardest-hit power company in Kansas, said Monday it had 61,000 customers without power, down from 63,000 earlier.
Other utilities with significant outages Monday evening included Ameren Corp with about 26,000 in Missouri, down from 31,000 earlier, and about 6,700 outages in Illinois, down from 10,000. Westar Energy Inc reported about 4,400 customers without power in Kansas late Monday.
Over the next day or so, meteorologists predicted the storm would move across Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, likely knocking out more customers as it moves east.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino in New York and Eileen O'Grady in Houston; Editing by Christian Wiessner)
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