New ice storm moves across central southern USA

A storm carrying the threat of more snow and ice moved across the central southern U.S. as more than 100,000 homes and businesses remained in the dark from earlier blasts of cold, wet weather.

Winter storm warnings covered much of New Mexico and parts of Texas and Oklahoma on Friday, with a half-foot (15 centimeters) to more than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow and sleet expected. In Texas, 90 National Guard members were activated.

The latest winter blast has led to reports of at least 74 deaths in nine states in the past week, including 25 in Oklahoma, 14 in Missouri and 12 in Texas. Many of the deaths were caused by car wrecks or carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators, the AP reports.

More than 77,000 Missouri homes and businesses remained without power, mainly in the state's southwestern section.

Eastern Oklahoma, including the hard-hit cities of McAlester and Muskogee, still had nearly 60,000 homes in the dark after ice snapped hundreds of power poles and transmission lines.

About 1,000 people remained in shelters set up by the American Red Cross, and at homeless shelters. Gloves and blankets were already in short supply after the first ice storm.

Along with the fatalities in Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri, the wave of storms was blamed for eight deaths in Iowa, four each in New York and Michigan, three in Arkansas, two in North Carolina and one each in Maine and Indiana.

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