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A rare snow day in Arizona

Story Highlights

• Body found near Denver is Mel Dinklage, 46, authorities said
• 45,000 Missourians still without power Monday
• Up to 11/2 inches fall on downtown Phoenix and Tucson
• Nine inches fall in New Mexico, closing stretch of I-25
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PHOENIX, Arizona (AP) -- A rare snowstorm that surprised Arizona with more than a foot of snow left the state Monday, giving children as far south as Tucson a chance to play in the snow.

One of the strongest of the winter, Sunday's storm brought snow, ice and strong winds to the Plains region, and also to the Southwest, including Texas and New Mexico.

The harsh, frigid conditions were blamed for at least 11 traffic fatalities in the Plains over the weekend.

In Colorado, crews looking for a missing snowshoer found his body in a creek southwest of Denver on Monday.

In Arizona, more than a foot of snow fell in Forest Lakes, Pinetop and at the Sunrise Ski Resort, among other places in the northern part of the state. ( Watch amazed Arizona residents react to the rare snowfall Video)

Between 1 and 3 inches fell in Flagstaff, said Robert Bohlin, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Southern New Mexico picked up 9 inches on snow on Sunday and Monday.

Some public schools in the southern and western parts of the state closed Monday.

Dense fog and icy roads created hazardous driving conditions Monday morning in the Tucson area.

Phoenix, which got a dusting the day before, largely returned to normal on Monday, and residents appeared happy with the unexpected precipitation.

"I love it," said Sandy LaCava, general manager of the Eclectic Cafe. "It was so quiet."

A white Colorado

In Colorado, where strong winds created whiteout conditions on the state's eastern plains, dozens of schools opened late or were closed Monday.

The coroner's office in Colorado's Jefferson County confirmed that a body found near a reservoir on the edge of the Denver area was that of Mel Dinklage, 46.

The cause of death was not determined.

Sheriff's spokesman Jim Shires said Dinklage lived in the Denver area and was an inexperienced snowshoer.

In Oklahoma, where an ice storm disrupted power to as many as 125,000 homes and businesses more than a week ago, about 12,500 customers remained without power Monday.

In Missouri, more than 45,000 people remained in the dark from the same storm as of Sunday.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Jay Hart sent this photo of snow-covered palm trees Monday in Tucson, Arizona.




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