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Storm's death toll reaches 51

Hit by outages, parts of Missouri are declared a federal disaster area.

January 17, 2007|From the Associated Press

BUFFALO, MO. — Shoppers used flashlights to find supplies Tuesday in the few places open in this town of 2,800 as the death toll from a winter storm hit 51 in nine states.

Three shelters in Buffalo -- about 35 miles north of Springfield -- housed nearly one-tenth of the population, and officials said power might not be restored until next week.

"There are no services," Buffalo Mayor Jerry Hardesty said. "I've talked to residents who have lived here 50 years and nobody can remember it ever being this bad."

About 450,000 homes and businesses in several states were still without electricity Tuesday after a storm that brought ice, snow, flooding and high winds from Texas to Maine.

The storm had largely blown out of New England, but the National Weather Service expected more freezing rain to hit parts of Texas tonight.

The White House said Tuesday that 34 Missouri counties and St. Louis had been declared a major disaster area, making federal funding available. A similar disaster declaration was approved Sunday for Oklahoma.

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