Rain, Ice Taper; Cold Temps Stay for Parts of United States

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -
A man walks past ice-encrusted trees following an ice storm in Toronto, Monday. A storm system brought freezing rain across much of Eastern Canada and parts of the United States, cutting power to hundreds of thousands of people and wreaking havoc on travel. (REUTERS/Gary Hershorn)
A man walks past ice-encrusted trees following an ice storm in Toronto, Monday. A storm system brought freezing rain across much of Eastern Canada and parts of the United States, cutting power to hundreds of thousands of people and wreaking havoc on travel. (REUTERS/Gary Hershorn)

Parts of the country socked by a wild weekend storm will be covered with ice and without power for many days thanks to a steady diet of freezing rain and cold temperatures.

The first full day of winter, Sunday, brought a mix including snow in the Midwest and balmy temperatures along the Mid-Atlantic. Rain and melting snow led to swelling creeks and streams, closed roads and flooded underpasses in Indiana, Ohio and other Great Lakes states.

More than 390,000 homes and businesses were without power Monday in Michigan, upstate New York and northern New England, down from Sunday’s peak of more than half a million.

In Maine, the number of customers without power spiked to more than 78,000, and the cold persisted.

“It’s certainly not going away,” Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, said Monday. “In fact, we don’t have very many areas where we’re expecting temperatures to rise above freezing.”

That means untreated roads and sidewalks from the upper Midwest to northern New England will remain a slippery, dangerous mess as people head for errands and travel.

More than 4,000 flights were behind schedule, the majority in New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Houston.

Josh Mason, a lineman with Southern Electric Corp., in Flowood, Miss., fuses switches on power lines, near 81st Street and Union Avenue, as crews fix electric lines caused by a recent ice storm, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Cory Young)
Josh Mason, a lineman with Southern Electric Corp., in Flowood, Miss., fuses switches on power lines, near 81st Street and Union Avenue, as crews fix electric lines caused by a recent ice storm, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Cory Young)

And more than 275 flights were canceled, mostly in Chicago, Denver, Houston and Dallas, aviation data company FlightAware said. The number is in line with a typical travel day and much improved from Sunday’s 700 cancellations. There are usually more than 30,000 daily flights in the United States.

Delta Air Lines said a taxiway that may have frozen over was suspected in an accident at Detroit Metropolitan Airport: An Atlanta-bound jetliner slid onto the grass, but no one was hurt.

The ice storm hit Eastern Canada particularly strong. Utility companies said power outages hit more than 400,000 customers in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick as crews struggled to restore service. Roads and sidewalks turned into skating rinks.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is calling it one of the worst storms in the city’s history.

The winter weather was far from nationwide, though. Record high temperatures were reached in some Mid-Atlantic states this weekend, but forecasts called for drops back to the mid-30s.