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Atlanta area braces for ice storm; 4 die in Texas

A truck plowed along Highway 75 near Helen, Ga., Tuesday. Sleet and freezing rain were expected overnight.
A truck plowed along Highway 75 near Helen, Ga., Tuesday. Sleet and freezing rain were expected overnight.Credit: Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

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ATLANTA (AP) — The city dodged the first punch of a dangerous winter storm Tuesday, but forecasters warned of a potentially ‘‘catastrophic’’ second blow in a thick layer of ice that threatened to bring hundreds of thousands of power outages and leave people in their cold, dark homes for days.

The streets and highways in metro Atlanta were largely deserted as people in the South’s business hub heeded advice from officials to hunker down at home, especially after the snow jam two weeks ago saw thousands of people stranded on icy, gridlocked roads for hours when 2 inches of snow fell.

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