HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ/AP) The muted ends of a powerful winter storm that has killed more than a dozen people plodded through the Northeast Friday.
A Christmas Day blizzard dumped more than 15 inches of snow on Arkansas, causing widespread damage to power lines and cutting electricity to more than 260,000 customers.
The big snowstorm that struck this week is being blamed for at least one death in metro Detroit.
The victim is described as a man from Highland Park who collapsed while shoveling snow Thursday. He died a short time later at Henry Ford Hospital.
In addition, officials at St. John Macomb Oakland Hospital in Madison Heights reported a couple of heart attacks related to snow clearing, while doctors at Providence Hospital report one heart attack victim and several slip and fall injuries.
At Oakwood Hospitals, staff treated about a dozen people for injuries related to slip and falls on ice.
The storm system responsible for the misery roared out of the Rockies early Tuesday with blizzard conditions in southwestern Oklahoma and tornadoes along the Gulf Coast.
After sweeping across Arkansas, giving Little Rock its first white Christmas since 1926, it rolled into the Midwest and Northeast before moving on to Canada. Up to 20 inches of snow fell in the Adirondacks of New York, and 7.5 inches fell in Indianapolis, which was its greatest snowfall in four years. Concord, N.H., got 4-6 inches of snow.
“I’m going to be shoveling all day, just trying to keep up with the snow, which is impossible,” said Dale Lamprey, clearing the sidewalk outside the legislative office building near the New Hampshire Statehouse.
Nationwide, at least 17 people died because of the ice, snow and wind. Deaths from wind-toppled trees also were reported in Texas and Louisiana, but car crashes caused most of the fatalities.
A Michigan woman who was riding in a car that struck a tree and two people riding in a car that slid across the center line of a road in Arkansas and hit another vehicle.
Two people were killed in Kentucky crashes, a New York man was killed after his pickup truck skidded on an icy road in northwest Pennsylvania, and an Ohio teenager died after losing control of her car and smashing into an oncoming snowplow.
Forty-two students traveling to London and Dublin were stuck in the Nashville, Tenn., airport thanks to poor weather in the Northeast. The frustrated students, from universities in Tennessee and Kentucky, were supposed to leave Wednesday and arrive in London on Thursday.
“It’s a two-week program, so it’s shortened already,” said Joe Woolley, spokesman for the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad.
Farther east, the storm knocked out power to more than 7,000 homes and businesses in Maryland. In New Jersey, gusts of more than 70 mph were recorded along the coast, and the weather service issued a flood warning for some coastal areas. There were about 800 power outages in Vermont, but only a handful in neighboring New Hampshire.
Back in Arkansas, utility workers struggling in freezing temperatures restored power to nearly a third of their customers that lost power during the Christmas storm, but that still meant that more than 130,000 homes and businesses were in the dark as a smaller batch of freezing rain and snow raked the state Friday.
“You just want to be home,” Garner said at her sister’s house. “You just want to be in your own bed. There’s nothing like the comfort of your own home.”
Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Kelly P. Kissel, Jennifer Peltz in New York; Holly Ramer in Concord, N.H.; Chuck Bartels in Little Rock; Travis Loller in Nashville; Ben Nuckols in Washington; Dave Porter in Newark, N.J.; Dave Gram in Montpelier, Vt.; and Janet McMillan in Philadelphia.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)