A rare winter storm hit the US Southeast yesterday, bringing Florida’s
capital its first snow in three decades and snarling travel, while New
England braced for a “bombogenesis” whopper forecast to bring heavy
accumulations today. Governors in states from Florida to Virginia warned
residents to expect icy roads and unseasonable freezing temperatures.
Georgia governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in part of the state, while Florida governor Rick Scott ordered warming shelters opened for residents.
In historic Charleston, South Carolina, the winter storm shuttered carriage horse tour companies yesterday, city spokesman Jack O’Toole said. A day earlier, a carriage horse slipped and fell on a patch of ice during a tour.
Residents in nearby Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on Tuesday headed to grocery stores in droves to stock up on food and supplies at local groceries, according to Nicholas Nichols, an employee at Publix grocery store.
“They did restock last night. They were here until 4 in the morning,” Nichols said.
The wintry mix and low wind chills could cause widespread power outages and leave roads icy, making commuting treacherous for millions of Americans from northern Florida to southern Virginia, the National Weather Service said in a series of warnings.
Some schools and universities in those states were closed yesterday.
Many flights out of the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in Georgia and Tallahassee Airport in Florida were cancelled.
The weather service said its Tallahassee office measured a snow and sleet accumulation of 0.1 inch (2.5mm) on its roof early in the day, the first time Florida’s capital has had snow in nearly 30 years.
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