Storm creates icy mess across South
JACKSON, Miss. — A blast of winter weather pushed across the South yesterday, coating bridges and roads with snow, sleet, and freezing rain and causing hundreds of flight cancellations.
The governors of Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia issued emergency declarations. Alabama Governor Bob Riley said workers had readied snow and salt trucks to help clear icy roads and asked all residents to stay home last night and today unless it was necessary to go out.
Mississippi officials warned motorists early that ice was accumulating on roads and bridges in many counties, creating hazardous driving conditions.
The National Weather Service posted winter storm warnings from east Texas to the Carolinas.
Daniel Lamb, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, said heavy snow had fallen yesterday from Arkansas to north Mississippi. Other areas of the South saw freezing rain and sleet.
Forecasters expected the most extreme conditions in Mississippi and northern Louisiana over night with the possibility of heavy ice accumulation in places.
Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas were expecting icy weather overnight.
Hundreds of flights were canceled at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport before the storm.
Both airlines are allowing passengers whose flights are canceled to change them without fees.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport spokesman David Magana said 200 flights, or about a quarter of the schedule, were canceled in anticipation of the weather.
Georgia was expecting up to 6 inches of snow. Forecasters say the storm could also bring sleet and freezing rain lasting into tomorrow.
In eastern Tennessee, the Weather Service said 4 to 6 inches of snow were expected overnight, with the heaviest snow falling early today.