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South digs itself out after freak storm

A woman adds a tiny snowman to a snowman family in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Saturday as the South recovers from the storm.

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A woman adds a tiny snowman to a snowman family in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Saturday as the South recovers from the storm.

ATLANTA — The Big Chill turned into the Big Dig on Saturday for many Southerners — the Americans who least expect to open their doors to see up to a foot of snow.

Some stayed indoors a day after the storm moved out to sea, while others turned icy streets and snow-covered parks into sledding playgrounds. Many who tried to dig out found shovels in short supply at home improvement stores.

Tens of thousands of people lost power in Texas and South Carolina, and thousands of others were left stranded by airline flight cancellations.

The National Weather Service said Dallas got 12.5 inches of snow while Harkers Island, N.C., got 8.8 inches, Belleville, Ala., got 6 inches, Foreman, Ark., got 4 inches and Atlanta got more than 3 inches.

The weather was blamed for deaths in the Macon, Ga., and the Louisville, Ky., areas.

The worst appeared to be over — for now. But another dose of snow could roll through some parts of the region on Monday, when many workers will be off because of the Washington's Birthday holiday.

The snow was blamed for more than 1,500 car crashes, about 37,000 power outages and hundreds of canceled sports events across South Carolina, which saw 3 to 8 inches of snow in some parts of the state.

About 125,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, almost entirely due to trees buckling under the weight of snow and falling onto power lines. Utility crews were expected to be working throughout the weekend to restore power to the area.

A few hundred people were still without power in parts of Louisiana on Saturday morning — down from thousands on Friday. The weather made for a long weekend for some. Schools in many parts of the state closed on Friday, and state government offices in 42 of Louisiana's 64 parishes closed early.

Power was back on for thousands of Mississippi electric customers who lost service due to snow and ice.

The airlines, too, had their hands full.

Airlines canceled nearly 1,900 flights on Friday. More flights were canceled Saturday due to the weather. Delta Air Lines reported another 760 flight cancellations, while American Airlines reported 85 systemwide and US Airways reported 30 cancellations across its system. Other carriers were reporting near normal operations.

South digs itself out after freak storm 02/13/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 13, 2010 8:24pm]
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