Flooding the latest weather threat in Midwest

DETROIT – Utilities in Michigan scrambled Monday to restore power knocked out by a gusty weekend storm as rain and melting snow caused flooding there and in other parts of the Midwest. About 162,000 customers were without electricity in Michigan, down from more than 400,000 on Sunday, according to the state's utilities. Some could remain without power until Wednesday because of Sunday's storm, which carried winds gusting more than 60 mph.

Nearly 60,000 customers from central New York to Buffalo also lost power Sunday as wind gusts as high as 75 mph brought down trees and utility poles there. About 4,400 New York utility customers remained without power Monday.

Flood warnings were posted throughout the Midwest as temperatures rose after a week of heavy snowfall. Forecasters said flooding was possible in areas of Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and northwest Ohio.

In Michigan, roads in some Ottawa County subdivisions were under 2 to 3 feet of water, while the first floors of some homes were flooded, National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Walton said.

In southeastern Wisconsin, the National Weather Service predicted the Fox River would crest about a foot over flood stage Tuesday in the town of Wheatland. In northwest Missouri, the Grand River reached nearly 9 feet above flood stage in places over the weekend.

Winter storm warnings were issued throughout the Northwest, which has been hammered by storms in recent weeks. The National Weather Service said northeastern Washington and the Idaho panhandle could expect 3 to 7 inches of new snow in the valleys, and 6 to 10 inches in the mountains through Monday evening.

Spokane, Wash., already had received upward of 51 inches of snow this month — more than it sees in a typical winter — but it kept falling Monday, accompanied by winds that gusted to 35 mph.

Roads were so clogged in the city that Spokane police asked semi-truck drivers to use chains after several trucks became stuck in giant snowbanks. Black ice was also causing many accidents on Interstate 90, officials said.

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Associated Press Writer Nicholas K. Geranios contributed to this report.


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