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95K without power in Northeast due to ice storm

Ice Storm
CANTON, N.Y. (AP) - A winter storm bringing ice and whipping winds to upstate New York and northern Vermont knocked out power to thousands of customers as officials urged motorists to avoid traveling in dangerously slick conditions.

More than 95,000 utility customers woke up without power Sunday morning in New York, Vermont and Maine because of widespread ice accumulations.

In New York's St. Lawrence County, almost 2 inches of ice had accumulated early Sunday, coating tree limbs and power lines, county dispatch operations supervisor Jim Chestnut said.

Winds were expected to pick up, increasing the chances of outage issues, but a state of emergency was keeping roads clear of hapless motorists, Chestnut said.

"It's a big party weekend, the Saturday before Christmas," Chestnut said. "This put a little bit of a damper onto that."

"Fortunately, there were not many accidents but mainly because people are staying off the road," added County Administrator Karen St. Hilaire.

Up to an inch of ice had accumulated across the northernmost part Vermont, said Conor Lahiff, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Burlington, Vt. In Maine, about 5 inches of snow had accumulated in the northernmost counties, with ice accumulations up to a half-inch along the coast, he said.

"It's pretty messy out there. Lots of power outages, lots of trees down," Lahiff said.

Significant accumulations of ice were expected to continue into Sunday afternoon.

National Grid reported nearly 67,000 customers without power in New York on Sunday morning. Spokesman Steve Brady said that number likely will rise. The utility said earlier it could be Monday before service is restored to some customers.

Brady said bulk of the outages were along Lake Ontario, stretching from Niagara and Erie counties in the west to Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties in the north.

He said a light overnight staff restoring power had grown to full contingent by 5 a.m.

About 16,000 outages were reported in Vermont - mostly in the north - though Burlington International Airport briefly lost power Saturday evening. A generator kicked on but service was quickly restored, airport Director of Operations Kelly Colling said.

"We're doing well, surprisingly well," she said.

Maine utilities reported about 12,000 customers without power Sunday morning, mostly along the coast.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland released parishioners from obligation to attend Mass, urging "extreme caution and prudence" about travel decisions.

Even after the storm moves out, a deep freeze is expected to set in.

"If anything, we're going to be trending toward below-normal temperatures through the middle of the week," Evenson said. Highs in the region are expected to reach only the teens on Tuesday and Wednesday with temperatures falling into the single digits or below zero at night.

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Ron December 23 2013 at 12:12 AM

Really? Wow. We've got more in SW Michigan alone than all of those states combined! I'm sitting here in the dark with a small generator for power right now running my computer and fridge.
It's a wonder so far that AOL isn't asking really stupid questions like I saw a few years back like "Do you have electricity?" during a big outage. Those that didn't couldn't reply! This was years before cell phones didn't do much more than make calls.

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bonnieamurray December 23 2013 at 12:06 AM

Anyone who has the friends & gas $$ are all down here in Fla.

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bonnieamurray December 23 2013 at 12:04 AM

They're all down here in Fla.

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msmith6791 December 23 2013 at 12:04 AM

Why can't the article just say in GIANT BIG LETTERS: Power out in parts of New York, Vermont and Maine. What is wrong with that. Tell me why these writers couldn't just put that statement in giant letters in the VERY BEGINNING note on AOL to bring one here. So heartless - they can't even remotely CONCEIVE the people might have relatives in the "northeast" and want to note IMMEDIATELY. So say it people in giant letters: Power out in parts of New York, Vermont and Maine. NOW once we get that settled, we can go on to read the fine print. Geesh!

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ADJUSTER PERRY December 23 2013 at 1:01 AM

I agree, it is all to get you to click on the article. They could care less about our families. The media is so sad these days. It is also not just AOL (who I have used since I bought my first computer in 1994), it is all of them....

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msmith6791 December 23 2013 at 12:01 AM

All I want to know is WHERE. I saw the "tickler" in AOL to get me to come to THIS article and the most IMMEDIATE thing I wanna see is WHERE. In WHAT cities and in WHAT state is the power out.

Can you find the answer? It is NOT immediately obvious.

What a disappointment.

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Flower December 22 2013 at 11:12 PM

It is nice in south Florida!

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LINDA December 22 2013 at 11:09 PM

Thank God that the weather is the one thing not yet under government control! Or is it? In any event, it is not under my control so __ I wish all of you a Merry Christmas!

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2 replies to LINDA's comment
Angela December 22 2013 at 11:18 PM

What a stupid comment.

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tomario.gotti December 23 2013 at 1:53 AM

Linda, I liked your comment.

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wmcwaterman December 22 2013 at 10:52 PM

Its nice in Vegas

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1 reply to wmcwaterman's comment
Welcome MSGT December 23 2013 at 10:38 AM

It is when you are not flooded out.

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redead131 December 22 2013 at 8:27 PM

north east guess doesn't include NJ because there's no ice here just warm weather for some reason.

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lostsailr9 December 22 2013 at 8:35 PM

right. NJ is "mid atlantic"...It is really extreme northeren NY that got Ice (and some of the western NY).

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Elizabeth December 23 2013 at 3:21 AM

Well, NJ and NY are still definitely considered North East by the weather people (and by us on the Eastern Seaboard) since we usually get hit by all of the Nor'Easters. But nothing on Long Island except some rain today --and presumably NYC either. We're having unseasonably warm weather. And it'll be even warmer tomorrow. This 'NorthEasterner' hit UPstate New York and Vermont, bypassing us completely (very lucky for us). Not counting our chickens yet, though--in February 2013 WE got the biggest snowfall of all: 38" actual inches of snow right outside my front door, with drifts up to 6 feet with the wind.Then it all iced over and we were socked in for days. Brrrr.

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digginya62 December 22 2013 at 8:13 PM

We got hit by this system in Dallas and the freezing rain coated everything! If you had to drive or
were just crazy, it was a chore to de-ice the doors to get in your car. I covered my windshields but
ALL the door seems had 1/2 inch of ice so if you didn't have it already, it was best if you stayed in.
This does make you wonder about, "Global Warming" like seeing all the ice storms or the New
Lowest Record for cold temps at the south pole?? I'm not an expert but these things don't go well
with the whole global warming story.....?

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lindakjo December 22 2013 at 8:30 PM

As I understand it, a few years back Gore changed his comments from “global warming” to the more accurate “climate change.”
What is happening is we have a lot more energy in the upper atmosphere, and there is a shifting in the weather zones, and a whole lot more intensity in the weather. So, tornadoes become more numerous and much more intense. Hurricanes become much more intense. Snowstorms become vicious ice storms and move further south. Droughts last longer in some places, and so on.

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victore in Jesus December 22 2013 at 10:07 PM

If you and Al Gore, the inventor the internet, and the man who made millions from the "global warming" or "climate change" HOAX, are in the same bed...GET OUT....QUICK!!!! Weather has always been cyclical. The climated change most have to watch out for are the ones in the Bible...just before the return of Jesus. What the Bible has predicted always, 100%, was on the money. Al Gore, 100% WRONG, but at least he's into it for the money.

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