The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

February 13, 2014

Deaths, power outages in South; storm heads north

(Continued)

In Alabama, forecasters gleefully spoke of weekend temperatures reaching the 60s after inches of snow or sleet in its northern parts.

The snow, sleet and freezing rain that iced Southern highways also knocked out electricity to more than half a million homes and business as it advanced Thursday up the Interstate 95 corridor to the winter-weary Mid-Atlantic states.

Some Southerners who two weeks ago reveled in the so-called "snow jam" sounded tired this time of sleet and ice encasing highways, trees and even the tombstones of a cemetery replete with Confederate graves.

Charter school teacher Bethany Lanier, 32, was walking in a mostly empty square in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur with Lindsay Futterman, 30, as they debated whether to get a drink at a pub.

If classes are canceled Friday, the charter school students will have missed nine days of school. To make up days, administrators have canceled a three-day break.

"Now, we're out because we have cabin fever," Lanier said as Futterman added: "It's kind of annoying now."

Many Southerners took to makeshift sleds on the ice and snow, with at least seven people hospitalized in sledding accidents just in Georgia. Four people were hurt sledding in a kayak that crashed into a pole, said Fire Chief Ricky Pruit in Cleveland, Ga. One victim suffered leg injuries, another was knocked unconscious and lost several teeth, and the other two refused treatment, he said.

Ice combined with wind gusts up to 30 mph snapped tree limbs and power lines. About 350,000 homes and businesses lost electricity in Georgia, South Carolina had about 245,000 outages, and North Carolina around 100,000. Some people could be in the dark for days.

As he did for parts of Georgia, President Barack Obama declared a disaster in South Carolina, opening the way for federal aid. There, a winter storm warning remained in effect, but the wintry mix was forecast to wrap up Thursday morning.

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