Thursday, May 7, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

South braces for icy mess

APTOPIX Winter Weather Mississippi

Traffic creeps along I-55 on Tuesday in north Jackson, Miss., as ice and snow flurries cause difficult driving conditions. AP photo

By
From page A2 | January 28, 2014 |

ATLANTA (AP) — Across the South, residents stocked up on fuel and groceries, schools and offices closed, and road crews were at the ready as a storm moved in Tuesday from the central U.S., threatening to bring snow, ice and subzero temperatures to a region more accustomed to air conditioners and sunscreen than parkas and shovels.

Even with the timing and severity of the blast of freezing precipitation uncertain, officials from parts of Texas to southeastern Virginia warned motorists to stay off the roads. Popular warm-weather tourist destinations — Charleston, S.C.; Savannah, Ga.; Pensacola, Fla.; Virginia Beach, Va.; and New Orleans — expected ice and snow over the next two days, rare occurrences in places that seldom even see prolonged sub-freezing temperatures.

At an Ace Hardware store in the north Georgia town of Cumming, snow shovels were in short supply, but manager Tom Maron said feed scoops — often used in barns — could be substituted. Workers expected brisk business, with patrons buying insulation, faucet covers, portable heaters and other cold-weather gear.

“We’re fixing to put the ice melt out, and we’ve got plenty of sand here to mix in,” Maron said shortly before dawn.

Much of Georgia was placed under a winter storm watch for Tuesday and Wednesday, with some areas forecast to see as much as 3 inches of snow. But Jason Deese with the National Weather Service said the snow totals would “matter very little in this situation because of the ice potential.”

“Some parts of the state may end up seeing the greatest impact just because they get more ice than snow,” he said.

In Mississippi, amid warnings about snow and ice, four people died when an early morning fire destroyed a mobile home in Itawamba County, near the Alabama border. Investigators believe a space heater was to blame. Sheriff Chris Dickinson said nine people were in the mobile home at the time, using the heater for warmth. Officials didn’t identify the victims but said they ranged in age from 3 months to 30 years.

Snow began falling before dawn Tuesday in the extreme northwest portion of Alabama. In Montgomery, Bradley Thrift sat in a hotel parking lot letting his truck warm up before heading out with a crew to work on sewers.

“We’ve got a job to do. We’ll just be out in it,” said Thrift, wrapped up in a thick coat. “We’ll be safe. When the boss man says that’s it, it’s too slippery, we’ll just come back here and wait.”

At a nearby Publix grocery story, shoppers had cleaned out three shelves of bottled water, and all the boxed fire logs were gone. The milk cabinet had big gaps where rows of gallon jugs were missing.

“We kept having to replenish the milk yesterday — people were buying it so quickly,” worker Jeneen Gabson said.

In the Hampton Roads area of Virginia — which forecasters said could see a foot of snow — store shelves started emptying of staples such as bread by Monday night. Schools and businesses planned to close early, with the storm expected to further clog an already-busy afternoon commute.

In coastal Charleston, it was a balmy 62 degrees Monday. But the approaching weather led the College of Charleston to cancel classes Tuesday. There was a forecast of rain, and sleet in the late afternoon, with the first snow expected Wednesday morning.

Delta Air Lines officials said 1,850 flights have been canceled ahead of the storm. The airline was offering travelers the opportunity to make one-time changes to tickets without a fee if they’re traveling through Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, the Carolinas and Texas.

Meanwhile, in the Midwest, plummeting temperatures and increasing winds took root for another day even as the storm moved south. Several states in the central U.S. saw schools and other facilities close for a second consecutive day as dangerous wind chills were predicted. In Minnesota, forecasters said wind chills could reach 35 to 50 degrees below zero.

In the Carolinas, many school districts were running on half-day schedules Tuesday so students could head home before the worst of the storm system hit. In North Carolina’s Outer Banks, barrier islands that are popular with tourists during the warm seasons, residents were bracing for as much as 8 inches of snow.

Several inches also were expected in South Carolina, where the state department of transportation planned to send crews out Tuesday to treat roads with sand and brine to ease any troubles caused by ice.

The South Carolina National Guard was on standby and Maj. Cynthia King said the Guard had wrecker teams and four-wheel drive vehicles that could help if needed.

In Louisiana, state Public Service Commission Chairman Eric Skrmetta told residents to be prepared by stocking up with food, fueling cars and making sure to have cash on hand, calling the icy forecast for the next couple of days “decidedly grim.” State police said freezing rain was falling in the central part of the state early Tuesday, but most highways remained open. The heaviest snowfall was likely to be 1 to 3 inches just north of the Baton Rouge metro area

Donna Vidrine, a cashier at Simcoe Food World in Lafayette, said her store was already busy Monday.

“They’re buying things like canned goods — nonperishable items — and bottles of water and diapers for their baby,” she said.

In Livingston Parish in southeast Louisiana, authorities said a curfew would be in effect Tuesday night and Wednesday morning because of the threat of freezing rain. Sheriff Jason Ard said motorists in the parish should stay off roadways, except essential personnel and first responders.

————

By Jeff Martin. Associated Press writers Jay Reeves in Montgomery and Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans contributed to this report.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Internationally known musician Butterscotch brings it home for Whole Earth

    By Landon Christensen | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    May’s ArtAbout is a wheely big show

    By Sandy Thai | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Whole Earth Festival honors ‘Rooted Living’

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Colleges move to expand services for immigrant students

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Fourth of July concessionaires solicited

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

     
    Per Capita Davis: A shout-out to Cool Davis

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A3

    Learn all about bats on a Putah Creek night tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    U.S. gives farmers approval to spray crops from drones

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Concert aims to fund wheelchair-accessible van

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Nesbitt speaks at Senior Health and Fitness Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Don’t forget STEAC’s food drive Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Sudwerk celebration marks debut of new mural

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Davis Bicycles! members always step up

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A4

     
    Awards recognize work with special-needs students

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A6

    Independent study enrollment underway

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Tour de Cluck tickets on sale now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

     
    The big problem with the new SAT

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    The Davis I knew is gone …

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Recruit blacks for police jobs

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Thank you, Davis pet community

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

    Devils end regular season with a bang

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD’s Vivolo is league’s top linkster

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Hot-shooting Aggie women open NCAA golf regionals

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD hoopsters honored for community outreach

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Tour of California to speed through Davis

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Aggie Nixon wins BW weekly award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Diamonds rock Regionals in Long Beach

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Junior wrestlers and their coaches compete in Natomas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Aces double down on River Cats, 6-3

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    DHS journalism students auctioning variety of services

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    Young journalists have Birch Lane covered

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Rec Report: May is Water Safety Month

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B4

    SHED, a modern grange in Healdsburg

    By Ann Evans | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    A century of life, love and happiness

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    .

    Arts

     
    Disco dance party set Sunday at I-House

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Choral concert to present ‘Songs of Peace’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    ‘The Art of Being an Aggie’ extended to May 22

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    The Show Ponies to perform at Davis Bike Collective

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Local boys return with band KALYDE for Whole Earth Fesitval

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    The question is: Is there craft beer?

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A9

     
    Winners of Student Writing Contest featured at Stories on Stage Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, May 7, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8