Archive for Thursday, February 8, 2007

Death toll from cold climbs to 16

February 8, 2007

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— West Virginia called snowplow drivers out of retirement Wednesday as snowstorms and arctic cold blamed for at least 16 deaths hung over much of the Midwest and East.

As much as 9 inches of snow fell in West Virginia in the state's first major storm of the season, prompting schools statewide to either close or open late for a second day in a row. Schools were also shut across of much of Ohio and parts of upstate New York, some for a third straight day.

In Charleston, W. Va., 21 retired snowplow drivers were called in to help crews struggling to clear roads.

Forecasters said some areas of upstate New York could receive more than 100 inches of snow before the system breaks up Sunday or Monday.

Since the weekend, the cold weather and slippery roads have contributed to at least five deaths in Ohio, four in Illinois, two in Kentucky, two in Michigan, and one each in Wisconsin, Maryland and Indiana, authorities said.

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