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Icy storms paralyze eastern states

A pair of storms spread snow, sleet and freezing rain across the eastern half of the nation, glazing highways as far south as Georgia and closing schools and government offices Monday.

DEATHS: At least 34 died, mainly in traffic crashes, on Sunday and Monday. The breakdown: six in South Carolina; five each in Iowa, North Carolina and Missouri; three each in Nebraska and Ohio; two each in Indiana and Minnesota; and one each in Kansas, Maryland and West Virginia.

SNOW: The heaviest was 24.8 inches at Duluth, Minn. Drifting snow closed about 70 miles of Interstate 29 overnight in North Dakota. Parts of Michigan's Lower Peninsula were expected to get 19 to 21 inches of new snow by the end of Monday. The Washington, D.C., area got up to 7 inches, its heaviest snowfall of the season.

TWO STORMS: One of the two storms scattered snow Monday along an arc from the western Plains to Minnesota and Wisconsin, then eastward across the Great Lakes into Pennsylvania and New York. The other storm spread snow and ice on Sunday from Kansas east to Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas.

AIRPORT DELAYS: Delta Air Lines delayed or canceled some 300 flights Monday out of Atlanta. More than 120 flights were delayed at Tampa International Airport on Monday.

POWER OUTAGES: Ice brought down tree branches and power lines, knocking out electricity to thousands. Progress Energy Florida on Monday sent about 220 linemen and other support personnel to the Carolinas to help restore electricity to more than 64,000 customers of sibling Progress Energy Carolinas of Raleigh, N.C.

EMERGENCY: North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley declared a state of emergency, and the state put about 1,000 National Guardsmen on standby.

_ ASSOCIATED PRESS

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