Monday, April 22, 2024

More snow on the way

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ATLANTA (AP) – The second wintry storm in two weeks to hit the Deep South encrusted highways, trees and power lines in ice today, 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 cancelled.
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 tomorrow 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 yesterday and today. Many businesses in the corporate capital of the South shut down, too.
The scene was markedly different from the one January 28, when thousands of children were stranded all night in schools by less than three inches of snow and countless drivers abandoned their cars after getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for hours and hours.
 

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