Ice storm knocks out power to 220,000 in US Midwest

NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Snow and ice storms across the U.S. Midwest knocked out power service to more than 220,000 homes and businesses in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio early Friday, local utilities reported.

The storm left 161,000 customers out in Indiana, 47,000 out in Illinois and 15,000 out in Ohio. The utilities said the outages would likely grow as the storm marches across the Midwest toward the Atlantic Coast.

The large storm was expected to drop snow from Minnesota to Connecticut, with ice and freezing rain falling in northern Indiana, Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

Freezing rain was causing more damage to the power system than the snow because the ice weighs down tree branches, snapping them onto power lines.

American Electric Power Co Inc’s Indiana Michigan Power unit was reporting the most outages with more than 94,000 customers out in Indiana.

AEP, of Columbus, Ohio, owns and operates more than 38,000 MW of generating capacity, markets energy commodities, and transmits and distributes electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by Jim Marshall)

Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:09am EST

Source: Reuters

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