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Storm kills one, knocks out power to thousands in Oklahoma


13:35, February 26, 2013

HOUSTON, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- A snow storm hit the U.S. state of Oklahoma Monday, killing one and knocking out power to thousands in the state.

In the northwest Oklahoma town of Woodward, heavy snow caused a roof to collapse, killing one inside the home, Matt Lehenbauer of the Woodward County Emergency Management office was quoted by news website as saying.

The death at Woodward is the second reported in the winter storm that rolled into the Plains region. A motorist died in a traffic accident on a slick road in Kansas state.

Blizzard conditions again descended on the midsection of the United States on Monday, bringing hurricane-force winds to the Texas Panhandle, closing highways in Texas and Oklahoma, and putting already snow-covered parts of Kansas on high alert as the day progressed.

Oklahoma on Monday declared a state of emergency for 56 counties due to the severe weather.

Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, at the request of Governor Mary Fallin, issued the executive order that allows state agencies to make emergency purchases related to disaster relief and preparedness.

"The winter storm has already caused dangerous travel condition in northwest Oklahoma as well as sub-freezing temperatures," said Lamb, urging Oklahomans in the impacted areas "to take winter storm precautions and stay off the roads unless travel is absolutely necessary."

Thousands of households and businesses in southwestern Oklahoma suffered power outages as the winter storm moved through the region on Monday.

The Public Service Company of Oklahoma's website shows power outages have affected 6,000-10,000 customers as of Monday afternoon.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has closed all highways in the Oklahoma Panhandle, and several in northwest Oklahoma due to the blizzard conditions

In the Texas Panhandle, airports were closed and National Guard units were mobilizing to assist stranded motorists as a winter storm blankets the region with one foot-deep snow in some places.

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