— Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) February 12, 2014
Another winter storm blew through the Deep South Tuesday night as the East Coast braces for their own deluge of sleet and snow. More than 100,000 customers in Georgia alone lost power due to the storm and several states are bracing for multiple inches of snow, expected to drop throughout Wednesday and Thursday.
Atlanta started preparing early, hoping to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 28 storm that left thousands stranded on highways, at work, and in schools. The Georgia Department of Transportation began spreading salt and gravel mixture Tuesday night, and officials closed schools and state government offices in affected counties. The Atlanta Public School district has already called off classes on Thursday.
This time, snow was not the immediate threat, as residents across the South awoke to a layer of ice coating their streets, cars, and trees. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said, “There is no doubt that this is one of Mother Nature’s worst kinds of storms that can be inflicted on the South, and that is ice.” Deal announced that an additional 180 tons of salt and sand were being brought into the state to distribute on roadways and cities enlisted municipal vehicles such as garbage trucks to enhance their snowplow fleets.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed put out a video with tips for staying safe and advised everyone to stay off the streets — a warning that residents seem to have heeded.
Pictures of Atlanta looking like a “ghost town” hit social media throughout the day.
— Gary Alan (@gbro76) February 12, 2014
As the storm moves to the Northeast, thousands of flights have been cancelled and Amtrak has suspended train service out of New York, Washington, D.C., and parts of the South. Freezing rain continues to fall in Atlanta, as residents prepare for additional snow on top of the ice and repair crews work to restore power to customers.