Frozen nation: Cold, ice and snow grip US, threatening roads and power

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A deep freeze gripped almost the entire United States on Friday — pushing temperatures to 20 below in Wyoming, emptying stores in Texas of firewood and threatening to knock out power across an ice-glazed swath of the South and Midwest.

In north Texas alone, more than 600 flights were canceled and an estimated 250,000 people were left in the dark as sleet weighed down power lines and snapped tree branches. Dallas called off its marathon for this weekend, with many of the thousands of expected runners unable to get there.

By midday, five states had recorded at least two and a half feet of snow since Wednesday. The highest total was 35 inches, near Two Harbors, Minn.

Winter storm warnings covered parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. The manager of a Home Depot store in Dallas concluded: “It’s almost like a Black Friday. But I guess we’ll call it an ice Friday.”

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