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Blizzard moves into Texas, Okla.

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By The Associated Press
Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, 9:15 p.m.
 

LUBBOCK, Texas — The nation's midsection again dealt with blizzard conditions on Monday, closing highways, knocking out power to thousands in Texas and Oklahoma, and even bringing hurricane-force winds to the Texas Panhandle. Two people have died.

Under a deep snowpack from last week's storm, Kansas was preparing for another round of heavy snow on Monday evening and overnight, prompting some to wonder what it could do for the drought.

“Is it a drought-buster? Absolutely not,” National Weather Service meteorologist Victor Murphy said. “Will it bring short-term improvement? Yes.”

The storm is being blamed for two deaths. In northwest Kansas, a 21-year-old man's SUV hit an icy patch on Interstate 70 and overturned. And in the northwest town of Woodward, Okla., heavy snow caused a roof to collapse, killing one inside the home.

Blizzard warnings extended from the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles into southcentral Kansas. To the east, lines of thunderstorms crossed Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida, bringing heavy rain and an occasional tornado warning.

As many as 10,000 people lost power in Oklahoma, as did thousands more in Texas.

“I have a gas cooking stove and got the oven going,” said Ann Smith, owner of the Standifer House Bed and Breakfast in Elk City, Okla. Her daughter and grandchildren had come over because they lost power.

“If it gets cold tonight, I guess we'll have to put pallets in the kitchen,” Smith said with a laugh.

Colorado and New Mexico were the first to experience the system Sunday night, with up to 2 feet falling in the foothills west of Denver.

As it moved into the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles on Monday, the storm ground travel to a halt, closing miles of highways.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Daniel Hawthorne said about a dozen motorists had to be rescued, but no one was injured.

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