ice and snowstorm slams U.S. Southeast
Send a link to a friend
[February 12, 2014]
By Colleen Jenkins
WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) — A deadly winter storm packing ice, sleet, and heavy snow hit the
southeastern United States on Wednesday, threatening road and air travel
and widespread power outages, forecasters said.
The worsening storm stretched from eastern Texas to the Carolinas,
and is likely to reach up into the Middle Atlantic states by late on
Wednesday, National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Edwards
"It's unusual to have an ice storm that far east in the Deep South,"
President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration for Georgia,
where the state government will be closed on Wednesday, and
governors in other southern states declared weather emergencies.
Officials were quick to make plans for dealing with the weather
after facing criticism when a storm two weeks ago paralyzed
Atlanta-area roads and forced more than 11,000 students in Alabama
to spend the night at their schools.
Conditions worsened overnight as a swath of the Deep South from
Alabama through South Carolina was hit with rain, sleet, and snow,
and residents were steadying themselves for freezing rain and slick
roads, Edwards said.
"The morning commute is just going to be horrendous," Edwards said,
warning of impassable roads, traffic accidents, and thick ice
bringing down trees and power lines.
"Folks who are not accustomed to handling these conditions are best
served by staying out of them — staying indoors, staying off the
The last significant ice storm in the region was in January 2000,
when up to half an inch of ice left more than 350,000 people without
power, weather service meteorologist Dan Darbe said. With the latest
storm, "we're talking a much larger area and a much larger amount of
ice", he said.
[to top of second column]
The storm dumped 2 to 6 inches of snow in north Georgia on Tuesday.
But ice was the larger concern on Wednesday as a quarter to
three-quarters of an inch was expected in a broad section of Georgia
including metropolitan Atlanta. Some areas could see more than 1
The Interstate 20 corridor from north central and northeastern
Georgia into South Carolina would be among the hardest hit by icy
conditions, Edwards said.
The storm has already caused two weather-related traffic deaths in
Mississippi, and three in northern Texas, authorities said.
More than 2,500 U.S. flights were canceled and scores more delayed
early on Wednesday, according to flight-tracking website
(Writing by Eric M. Johnson; editing by Catherine Evans)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.