Southern Storm Ices Roads, Takes Out Power

Thousands lose power across several states
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 16, 2022 12:05 PM CST
Storm Ices Roads in South Before Turning North
Vehicles navigate hazardous driving conditions along Interstate 85/40 on Sunday in Mebane, NC.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

A dangerous winter storm combining high winds and ice was sweeping through parts of the US Southeast on Sunday, knocking out power, felling trees and fences, and coating roads with a treacherous frigid glaze. Tens of thousands of customers were without power in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida, the AP reports. More than an inch of snow fell per hour in some parts of the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.

The storm was making air travel difficult in parts of the South. More than 1,000 flights at Charlotte Douglas International have been canceled—more than 80% of the airport's Sunday schedule, according to the flight tracking service In Atlanta, where Delta Air Lines operates it main hub, more than 300 Sunday flights have been canceled. The FAA warned ground stops were possible at airports around Washington, DC. A meteorologist with the National Weather Service said to expect a "significant ice storm across portions of the central Carolinas," including the Charlotte area. In North Carolina, Interstate 95 was closed in both directions between Lumberton and Fayetteville due to low-hanging power lines.

More than 250,000 customers were without power by late morning Sunday, according to Hit especially hard was Georgia, with nearly 110,000 outages. South Carolina had nearly 90,000 customers without power. The remaining outages were in Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Crews pretreated roadways in Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia but officials still urged people to stay off them unless travel was necessary. After lashing the South, the storm was expected to bring frigid and snowy conditions to the Northeast. Coastal areas on Long Island and Connecticut were expecting high winds and gale conditions, and widespread coastal flooding was predicted for both places by Monday morning.

(More winter storm stories.)

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