Thousands may face frigid, lightless nights ahead

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Power problems linger, after the icy winter storm that snapped electricity to 1.3 million homes and businesses from Oklahoma to West Virginia.

Although workers are fighting to clear icy rubble and restore power, officials warn it could be a long wait for many to get their heat and lights back.

Various charities opened shelters across the region. But with the power out nearly everywhere - including at some radio stations - it is difficult to spread the word. Some deputies have been going door to door, offering to drive the elderly to safety.

President Barack Obama has signed requests from the governors of Kentucky and Arkansas for federal emergency declarations.

The storm is blamed for at least 23 deaths.

Emergency officials worry about the possibility of more deaths due to hypothermia or carbon monoxide.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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