More cold, snow, ice in South, but relief in sight
Snow fell on the Deep South on Wednesday as another storm brought nasty weather to the region, walloping places that were hit hard just last week.
Schools, daycares and offices closed ahead of the storm and governors once again declared states of emergency. The most intense part of the storm stretched from north Texas eastward to North Carolina and Virginia. Snow accumulations could be 6 to 8 inches or higher in some places.
Relief — in the form of higher temperatures — is expected Thursday.
Here’s a look at how winter weather has affected some areas:
Potential record breaker
Snow blanketed north Alabama with forecasters warning the winter storm could dump as much as 10 inches of frozen precipitation in spots and make travel treacherous across a wide area through Thursday.
Streets and roads quickly turned white and slushy north of Birmingham, where the National Weather Service said trained spotters reported more than 6 inches had fallen as precipitation continued.
The weather service said as much as 10 inches of snow could fall before precipitation tapers off. That would be far more than enough to break records dating to the late 1890s, forecasters said.
Georgia delayed the execution of its only female death row inmate because of the approaching winter weather. Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, had been scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Gissendaner was convicted of murder in the February 1997 slaying of her husband. Prosecutors said she plotted with her boyfriend in the killing.
The execution has been rescheduled for Monday.
Sleet Falls On Alabama
About 55 miles northeast of Birmingham in Etowah County, Josie Hicks fretted about the safety of her 3-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.
Hicks said the pipes already were frozen at the family’s apartment in Attalla, and she was worried the power could go out. So with sleet already bouncing off car hoods outside, Nicks made a quick trip to Walmart for milk, bread and other food that didn’t have to be cooked, and 1-gallon jugs of water.
“I wouldn’t mind having some snow for the babies to play in but I don’t want them to be freezing,” said Hicks. “I’m worried about my babies being warm.”
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said he was very confident in the state’s preparations.
Following a January 2014 ice storm that crippled metro Atlanta, Deal convened a task force to make recommendations of how to better prepare. He said Wednesday that state agencies have ably handled three weather situations in the last 10 days.
“I believe the lesson we are learning even of this morning as we noted the smaller volume of traffic on the interstates is that the public is willing to be a participating partner,” he said.
Are you delivering?
The manager of a sandwich shop in Shreveport, Louisiana, says it’s been delivering more food this week because of the bad weather.
“The first question asked when you answer the phone is ‘Are you delivering?’” according to Alli Walsh, who manages a Jimmy John’s in Shreveport.
Walsh said she has up to six delivery workers who are running multiple orders at a time. Shreveport could get up to 3 inches of snow.
Near Bangor, Maine, 75 vehicles got tangled up in a series of chain-reaction pileups on a snowy stretch of Interstate 95, injuring at least 17 people.
The crashes started stacking up about 7:30 a.m. and involved several cars, a school bus and a tractor-trailer. At least 50 vehicles had to be towed from the scene, and state police said it was the largest crash in more than 15 years.
As snow and frigid temperatures continue in Ohio, communities in parts of the state are running short on road salt, city officials said.
Some cities have waited weeks for hundreds of tons of ordered salt, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported.
The region has recorded nearly 60 inches of snow since November. Lower-than average temperatures have made snow harder to melt and roads more difficult to clear.
For some cities, a serious salt problem is just one more snowfall away.
“We have enough to last this next week, but if it keeps consistently snowing it’s going to be difficult,” Middleburg Heights Service Director Jim Herron said.