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COPY-Thousands without power in Nebraska, Iowa

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Thousands of people are without power in eastern Nebraska and across parts of Iowa as a powerful snow storm sweeps the Midwest.

The Omaha Public Power District says more than 36,000 customers in its service areas in eastern Nebraska are without power. The hardest-hit area is in and around Omaha, where 25,000 customers are without electricity. The utility says heavy snow and high winds gusting to more than 50 mph are hampering efforts to restore power in many areas.

In Lincoln, television station KOLN reports that many residents are also without power.

In Iowa, MidAmerican Energy reports that more than 31,000 of its customers are without electricity, including 25,000 in the Des Moines area. More than 6,000 customers are without power in western Iowa's Council Bluffs.

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