| WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Feb 11 A potentially
dangerous mix of snow and ice threatened a wide swath of the
U.S. South again on Tuesday, prompting hundreds of school
closures from Texas to North Carolina and warnings from
forecasters for people to stay off the slick roads.
"This has the potential to be a catastrophic event," said a
winter storm warning advisory issued by the National Weather
Service office in Peachtree City, Georgia.
Governors in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and
Mississippi each declared a state of emergency, and officials
were quick to make plans for dealing with the weather's effects
after being criticized for inadequate preparation ahead of a
storm two weeks ago.
The earlier rare blast of wintry weather in the region
crippled Atlanta area roadways and forced more than 11,000
students in Alabama to spend the night at their schools.
Road travel was expected to be impossible in parts of
Georgia on Tuesday, according to the weather service, which
predicted ice accumulations of up to three quarters of an inch
in some places and widespread power outages.
In extreme north Georgia, some roads, including parts of
Interstate 75, were already impassable because of the snow and
ice early on Tuesday, said Charlene Thrower, spokeswoman for the
Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
Early on Tuesday, as many as 5 inches of snow had fallen in
north Alabama, according to the National Weather Service.
A few minor crashes had been reported, but most of the
state's highways remained open, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley
said on Twitter.
Hundreds of schools and businesses in North and Central
Texas closed or had delayed openings on Tuesday, with more than
200 reported in the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone due to icy
conditions that caused traffic jams and several crashes
A winter weather advisory was in effect for the Dallas,
Houston and Austin areas until Tuesday night, with forecasters
warning of freezing rain later in the morning and ice
accumulating on bridges and overpasses.
A Dallas firefighter died Monday night after responding to
an accident on an icy road. William Scott Tanksley, 40, was
killed when a car lost traction on an overpass and hit a parked
car, which then hit Tanksley, pushing him off the overpass and
onto a highway, media reports said.
About 1,000 U.S. flights were canceled and another 900
delayed on Tuesday, with the highest number of travel
disruptions reported at Southern airports in Atlanta, Charlotte
and Dallas, according to flight-tracking website
(Additional reporting by David Beasley in Atlanta; Karen Brooks
and Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Verna Gates in Birmingham,
Alabama; Editing by Bernadette Baum)