Another ice storm causes havoc across the South

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Another ice storm causes havoc across the South
Original shared on FB RT @beerandracing: Hwy 70 near RDU airport, few miles from home, taken today during snowstorm http://t.co/dRGQDgruwr
Again, this was saved on @wral Facebook page which seems to prove original Glenwood Ave photo is indeed real. http://t.co/4DjJI11d2U
Picture from my brother. Way to go Raleigh http://t.co/7lrWQ69PKC
Lamarr Lewis scrapes ice from his car window during a winter storm on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Doraville, Ga. (AP Photo/John Amis)
A Highway Patrol officer checks on the well being of a stranded motorist on Hammond Road during a winter storm Wednesday Feb. 12, 2014, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Travis Long)
NOAA satellite image of storm moving up the East Coast on February 12, 2014.
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 12: Icicles form on street signs after freezing precipitation fell in Atlanta overnight on Wednesday, February 12, 2014. Drivers were encouraged to stay off of the roads as a state of emergency was declared in 45 Georgia counties. (Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images)
Ice forms on a banner as a lone parked automobile drives through the empty streets of Historic Norcross Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Norcross, Ga. Across the South, residents woke up Wednesday to a region encased in ice, snow and freezing rain, with forecasters warning that the worst of the potentially "catastrophic" storm is yet to come. (Photo/Jason Getz)
A firefighter looks on as a jack-knifed truck is pulled on the roadway on Interstate 75 Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Marietta, Ga. From Texas to the South's business hub in Atlanta, roads were slick with ice, more than 350,000 homes and businesses lost electricity, and a wintry mix fell in many areas. More than 20,000 customers were reported without power across the state of Georgia. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Drivers navigate U.S. Hwy 25 in southern Greenville County, as snow falls Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 , near Greenville, S.C. A second winter storm in two weeks pummeled South Carolina, cutting power to tens of thousands and prompting Gov. Nikki Haley to ask President Barack Obama to declare the state a federal disaster area. (AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)
School bus driver Derese Burnette waits for assistance after his bus got stuck along Seawell School Rd. in Chapel Hill, NC, during a snow storm on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. A second winter storm in two weeks pummeled South Carolina on Wednesday, cutting power to tens of thousands and prompting Gov. Nikki Haley to ask President Barack Obama to declare the state a federal disaster area. (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)
#CSRAStorm #AugustaGA #IceStorm2014 http://t.co/dmxndmWfwN
Palmetto trees and snow and sleet in South Carolina, posted on Twitter by Rich Owensby.
A truck plows a road in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, as a winter storm moves into the area. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
A truck plows a road in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, as a winter storm moves into the area. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
A Georgia DOT sign warns drivers of winter weather as they travel a bleak section of Hwy. 141 on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Norcross, Ga. The scene is the opposite of what drivers experienced two weeks ago when every major artery of metropolitan Atlanta was clogged during the last winter storm. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Snow plows clear downtown lanes on Interstate 75/85 during a winter storm on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. Across the South, winter-weary residents woke up Wednesday to a region encased in ice, snow and freezing rain, with forecasters warning that the worst of the potentially "catastrophic" storm is yet to come. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
A pedestrian walks across downtown's North Avenue during a winter storm on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. Across the South, winter-weary residents woke up Wednesday to a region encased in ice, snow and freezing rain, with forecasters warning that the worst of the potentially "catastrophic" storm is yet to come. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
A motorist drives through freezing rain and sleet on downtown's Spring Street during a winter storm on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. Across the South, winter-weary residents woke up Wednesday to a region encased in ice, snow and freezing rain, with forecasters warning that the worst of the potentially "catastrophic" storm is yet to come. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
Shmetrice Moore, a nurse at an Emory hospital, scrapes snow and ice off her windshield as she and others are released early from their shift before a winter storm on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Johns Creek, Ga. From Texas to the Carolinas and the South's business hub in Atlanta, roads were slick with ice, tens of thousands were without power, and a wintry mix fell in many areas. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Snow plows clear Interstate 75/85 on the downtown connector while transportation and business grinds to a halt during a winter storm on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. Across the South, winter-weary residents woke up Wednesday to a region encased in ice, snow and freezing rain, with forecasters warning that the worst of the potentially "catastrophic" storm is yet to come. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
Sparse traffic makes its way on the Interstate 75/85 connector just south of downtown Atlanta, Wednesday morning, Feb. 12, 2014. A combination of sleet, snow and freezing rain was expected to coat power lines and tree branches with more than an inch of ice between Atlanta and Augusta. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ben Gray)
Pedestrians help each other carry groceries on a downtown street as Georgians awake to freezing rain, sleet and snow during a winter storm on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. Slushy sidewalks made even short walking trips treacherous. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
Ice freezes on an Interstate 75/85 overpass as freezing rain, sleet and snow brings transportation and commerce to a halt during a winter storm on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in downtown Atlanta. City roads and interstates were largely desolate, showing few vehicle tracks as most people heeded warnings to stay home. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, a lone motorist drives through a slick intersection during the morning commute on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. Across the South, winter-weary residents woke up Wednesday to a region encased in ice, snow and freezing rain, with forecasters warning that the worst of the potentially "catastrophic" storm is yet to come. From Texas to the Carolinas and the South's business hub in Atlanta, roads were slick with ice, tens of thousands were without power, and a wintry mix fell in many areas. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
Ice hangs from a school crossing sign on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. Across the South, winter-weary residents woke up Wednesday to a region encased in ice, snow and freezing rain, with forecasters warning that the worst of the potentially "catastrophic" storm is yet to come. From Texas to the Carolinas and the South's business hub in Atlanta, roads were slick with ice, tens of thousands were without power, and a wintry mix fell in many areas. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
Two Alabama DOT employees work to free up a sand truck from highway 176 around Little River Canyon, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, near Fort Payne, Ala. A winter storm dropped from 1 inch to 3 inches of wintry precipitation across a wide area, turning trees and roads white and forcing hundreds of schools, businesses and government offices to close or open late. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Tim Fields, with Keenum Excavation, clears the road with a grader along Hwy 31 on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Vinemont, Ala. Fields was contracted by the state to help clear roads after a winter storm dropped several inches of snow on North Alabama overnight and more is expected. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
A car travels on Blacks Dr. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Greenville, S.C. Snow and icy conditions were expected to continue through Wednesday. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
A car travels on Stevens Rd. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Greenville, S.C. Snow and icy conditions were expected to continue through Wednesday. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Snow and ice build up on the street signs for Snow and McDaniel Streets on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Greer, S.C. Snow and icy conditions were expected to continue in the state through Wednesday. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
A White County Department of Transportation truck plows snow that begins to accumulate on highway 75 north Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, just north of Helen, Ga. In a dire warning Tuesday, forecasters said a "catastrophic" winter storm threatened to bring a thick layer of ice to Georgia and other parts of the South, causing widespread power outages that could leave people in the dark for days. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton)
Traffic backs up on southbound I-75 on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 from the Boynton Drive overpass, in Ringgold, Ga. Traffic was backed up for over four miles. Forecasters say a potentially "catastrophic" winter storm threatens to bring a thick layer of ice to Georgia. (AP Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press, C.B.Schmelter)
State highway 31 is closed to traffic due to icy road conditions Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Vinemont, Ala. Some vehicles bypassed the closure before highway could be plowed. A winter storm dropped several inches of snow on North Alabama overnight and more is expected. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 11: In this handout satellite image provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a winter storm front moves through the Southern states on February 11, 2014 in the United States. In addition to heavy snow for some locations, there is a potential for dangerous ice accumulations of 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch across the Carolinas and northern Georgia by midweek. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
Vehicles travel slowly on Interstate 65 as several inches of snow cover the area on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Vinemont, Ala. A winter storm dropped several inches of snow on North Alabama overnight and more is expected. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Early morning commuters navigate icy roads in Decatur, Ala., after snow fell overnight Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, John Godbey
Adrianne Lynn DeBruhl, of Cullman, rolls up a snow ball to put on her snowman on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Cullman, Ala. A winter storm dropped several inches of snow on North Alabama overnight and more is expected. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Alex DeBruhl, left, and his sister Adrianne Lynn DeBruhl, of Cullman, make a snowman on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Cullman, Ala. A winter storm dropped several inches of snow on North Alabama overnight and more is expected. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
John Szeto walks along Blacks Drive on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Greenville, S.C. Residents woke to snow that was expected to continue throughout the morning hours. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Snow accumulates on a pickup truck as Ryan Warmack, center, walks toward a truck stop trying to locate tire chains during a winter snow storm in Emerson, Ga., about 40 miles north of metro Atlanta, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. The Atlanta area dodged the first punch of a dangerous winter storm Tuesday, but forecasters warned of a "catastrophic" second blow in the form of a thick layer of ice that threatened to bring widespread power outages and leaving people in their cold, dark homes for days. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
Barrow County residents make a snowman as a winter snow storm that the National Weather Service predicted to be "an event of historical proportions" blows into Euharlee, Ga., about 40 miles north of metro Atlanta, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
Vehicles slowly make their way on a snow-covered Alabama state Route 35, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Fort Payne, Ala. Residents woke to a blanket of snow that was expected to continue throughout the morning hours. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
A van kicks up snow and ice as it travels on I-65 North on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Cullman, Ala. A winter storm dropped several inches of snow and ice in North Alabama overnight and more is expected. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 11: A travel advisory sign along I-85 South warns drivers of hazardous driving conditions as a winter storm approaches on February 11, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. A winter storm warning has been issued for the area through Thursday, and storms Tuesday night could result in ice accumulation of up to half an inch. Widespread power outages are expected around Atlanta. (Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images)
State agencies prepare for the approaching winter weather at the Georgia Emergency Management Agency State Operations Center on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Atlanta. During the meeting Dale Brantley, with the GDOT, said "one of the big issues we are dealing with right now is salt supply." Orders were apparently placed last week, but all of them have not been received yet. Brantley said they expected orders to be delivered throughout the night and into tomorrow. (AP Photo/ Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Curtis Compton)
Ryann and Terri Camacho walk down Alabama highway 176 after checking on a neighbors cows Tuesday Feb. 11, 2014, in Dog Town, Ala. as the area is being blanketed with an unusual amount of snow. A winter storm dropped from 1 inch to 3 inches of wintry precipitation across a wide area, turning trees and roads white and forcing hundreds of schools, businesses and government offices to close or open late. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
A truck slowly travels on a snow covered Alabama highway 176 Tuesday Feb. 11, 2014 in Dog Town, Ala. A winter storm dropped from 1 inch to 3 inches of wintry precipitation across a wide area, turning trees and roads white and forcing hundreds of schools, businesses and government offices to close or open late. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Firefighter Robbie Hairell scrapes snow off of his car Tuesday Feb. 11, 2014 in Dog Town, Ala. A winter storm dropped from 1 inch to 3 inches of wintry precipitation across a wide area, turning trees and roads white and forcing hundreds of schools, businesses and government offices to close or open late. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
A horse stands in a snow covered field Tuesday Feb. 11, 2014 in Dog Town, Ala. Residents in much of north Alabama woke to heavy snowfall that was expected to continue throughout the morning. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
Ryann and Terri Camacho walk down Alabama highway 176 after checking on a neighbors cows Tuesday Feb. 11, 2014 in Dog Town, Ala. as the area is being blanketed with an unusual amount of snow. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
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By CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY and KATE BRUMBACK

ATLANTA (AP) - The second wintry storm in two weeks to hit the Deep South encrusted highways, trees and power lines in ice Wednesday, knocking out electricity to more than 350,000 homes and businesses.

But it didn't wreak the highway havoc in Atlanta that the previous bout of heavy weather did - largely because people learned their lesson the last time and stayed off the roads.

At least nine traffic deaths across the region were blamed on the treacherous weather, and more than 3,100 airline flights nationwide were canceled.

As residents across the South heeded forecasters' unusually dire warnings and hunkered down at home against the onslaught of snow and freezing rain, the storm pushed northward along the Interstate 95 corridor, threatening to bring more than a foot of snow Thursday to the already sick-of-winter mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Forecasters warned of a potentially "catastrophic" storm across the South with more than an inch of ice possible in places. As the day wore on, power outages climbed by the hour and the dreary weather came in waves.

Ice combined with wind gusts up to 30 mph snapped tree limbs and power lines. More than 200,000 homes and businesses lost electricity in Georgia, 130,000 in South Carolina and nearly 30,000 in Louisiana. Some people could be in the dark for days.

In Atlanta, which was caught unprepared by the last storm, streets and highways were largely deserted this time. Before the first drop of sleet even fell, area schools announced they would be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Many businesses in the corporate capital of the South shut down, too.

The scene was markedly different from the one Jan. 28, when thousands of children were stranded all night in schools by less than 3 inches of snow and countless drivers abandoned their cars after getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for hours and hours.

However, heavy afternoon traffic was reported in Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C.

Caitlin Palmieri drove two blocks from her job at a bread store in downtown Raleigh before getting stuck. Two men helped her park her car, and she walked back to work.

"It seemed like every other car was getting stuck, fishtailing, trying to move forward," she said.

Across the region, those who had power passed the time watching movies or surfing the Internet. Matt Altmix walked his Great Dane, Stella, in Atlanta because "even in the snow, you still have to do your business."

"I think some folks would even say they were a little trigger-happy to go ahead and cancel schools yesterday, as well as do all the preparation they did," Altmix said. "But it's justified."

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, who was widely criticized over his handling of the last storm, sounded an upbeat note this time.

"Thanks to the people of Georgia. You have shown your character," he said.


Deal said four students, ages 11 to 18, from the Georgia Academy for the Blind in Macon were back home in metro Atlanta after hitching a ride with the Georgia National Guard before the worst of the storm hit. Their parents were unable to make the drive, which is 80 or 90 miles one way.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory urged people to charge their cellphones and find batteries for radios and flashlights because the storm could bring nearly a foot of snow in places such as Charlotte.

"Stay smart. Don't put your stupid hat on at this point in time. Protect yourself. Protect your family. Protect your neighbors," McCrory said.

Kathy Davies Muzzey of Wilmington, N.C., said she hid the car keys from her husband, John, on Tuesday night because he was thinking about driving to Chapel Hill for the Duke-UNC basketball game. He has missed only two games between the rivals since he left school in the late 1960s.

"He's a fanatic - an absolute fanatic," she said.

For the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, the heavy weather was the latest in an unending drumbeat of storms that have depleted cities' salt supplies and caused school systems to run out of snow days.

The nation's capital could get up to 8 inches of snow. New York City could see 6 inches. Other sections of eastern New York were expecting 10 to 14 inches.

In Atlanta, stinging drops of sleet fell and windshields were crusted over with ice. Slushy sidewalks made even short walks treacherous. One emergency crew had to pull over to wait out the falling snow before slowly making its way back to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency's operations center.

In normally busy downtown areas, almost every business was closed except for a pharmacy.

Amy Cuzzort, who spent six hours in her car during the traffic standstill of January's storm, said she would spend this one at home, "doing chores, watching movies - creepy movies, 'The Shining'" - about a writer who goes mad while trapped in a hotel during a snowstorm.

In an warning issued early Wednesday, National Weather Service called the storm "catastrophic ... crippling ... paralyzing ... choose your adjective."

Meteorologist Eli Jacks noted that three-quarters of an inch of ice would be catastrophic anywhere.

However, the South is particularly vulnerable: Many trees are allowed to hang over power lines for the simple reason that people don't normally have to worry about ice and snow snapping off limbs.

Three people were killed when an ambulance careened off an icy West Texas road and caught fire. A chain-reaction crash shut down the four-lane Mississippi River bridge on Interstate 20 at Vicksburg, Miss., and a tanker leaked a corrosive liquid into the river. No one was injured.

On Tuesday, four people died in weather-related traffic accidents in North Texas, including a Dallas firefighter who was knocked from an I-20 ramp and fell 50 feet. In Mississippi, two traffic deaths were reported.

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