Mt. Vernon Register-News

State News

January 8, 2010

Icy hazards persist through U.S., deep into South


Associated Press Writers

ATLANTA (AP) — Snow and blustery winds blew into the already-frigid East on Friday and drivers as far south as Georgia were urged to stay off icy roads.

Arctic air continued to blanket much of the nation a day after a tractor-trailer jackknifed on a snow-slick Ohio road and hit a van carrying disabled adults, killing four people.

In Atlanta, more accustomed to temperatures in the low 50s this time of year, a glaze of ice coated roads Friday after light snow overnight melted and froze. Nearly 30 cars piled up in a pre-dawn crash near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

“I wanted to stay home today, but my boss never called me back, so I thought I should try to get in,” said Beth Ament, 30, who was fueling her car so she could get to a nearby transit station to take the train to her job in downtown Atlanta.

Multiple deaths have been blamed on this week’s cold, including a 44-year-old man whose body was found face-down in the snow early Friday in Billings, Mont. Schools in at least 10 states were closed, as were many roads and government offices.

The edge of the storm reached the Philadelphia area overnight, and up to 2 inches of snow was likely there and in the New York City area, according to the National Weather Service, which warned commuters to be careful trekking to work.

“People ought to take it easy when they get out on the road this morning,” Weather Service meteorologist Bill Goodman said early Friday.

Amtrak announced that its train between Chicago and Denver wouldn’t operate on Friday because of blowing and drifting snow in Nebraska.

In Ohio, the Weather Service warned of a possible lake effect: arctic air blowing over the Great Lakes, picking up moisture and carrying it inland, creating narrow bands of heavy snow. A winter storm warning was in effect until Saturday morning.

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