February 12

It’s North Carolina’s turn for storm to bring gridlock

At least 10 deaths are reported in the South as treacherous weather cancels flights, glazes roads and knocks out electricity.

By Kate Brumback And Christina A. Cassidy
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

A motorist, right, who abandoned a vehicle, walks through stopped traffic on northbound Interstate 85 during a storm Wednesday in Durham, N.C.

The Associated Press

click image to enlarge

In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, a lone motorist drives through a slick intersection during the morning commute on Wednesday in Atlanta.

The Associated Press

Additional Photos Below

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.

“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,” said Matt Altmix, who was out walking his dog in Atlanta. “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.

Amy Cuzzort, who spent six hours in her car during the Atlanta traffic standstill in January, said she would spend this storm at home, “doing chores, watching movies – creepy movies, ‘The Shining”’ – about a writer who goes mad while trapped in a hotel during a snowstorm.

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, because he was thinking about driving to Chapel Hill for the Duke-North Carolina basketball game. He has missed only two games between the rivals since he left school in the late 1960s. His wife made the right call: The game was postponed.

“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 Raleigh area could get up to 4 inches of snow. Washington, D.C., could see around 8 inches, as could Boston. New York City could receive 6 inches. The Philadelphia area could get a foot or more, and Portland, Maine, may see 8 or 9 inches.

In an warning issued early Wednesday, National Weather Service called the storm across the South “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. 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.

Also, a Georgia man apparently died of hypothermia after spending hours outside during the storm, a coroner said.

Associated Press writers Ray Henry, Jeff Martin and Peter Prengaman in Atlanta; Martha Waggoner, Michael Biesecker and Emery P. Dalesio in Raleigh, N.C.; Bruce Smith in Charleston, S.C.; Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Ala.; and Russ Bynum in Savannah, Ga., contributed to this report.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors


Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Helen police officer Lee Johannsen in his four-wheel drive vehicle is the only thing moving through the Alpine City of Helen, Ga., in the Southern Appalachian Mountains on Wednesday.

The Associated Press

  


Further Discussion

Here at OnlineSentinel.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)