A freeway sign in Georgia announces a winter storm warning for 10-12 February 2014.  President Obama declared a state of emergency in Georgia as the southern state awaited what the National Weather Service called a potentially 'crippling' ice and snow storm 'of historical proportions'. Photo: AP

By Matt Pearce
11 February 2014

(Los Angeles Times) – President Obama declared a state of emergency in Georgia on Tuesday as the southern state awaited what the National Weather Service called a potentially “crippling” ice and snow storm “of historical proportions.”

The roads in Atlanta, usually clogged with traffic, were unusually quiet at midday Tuesday as students and workers stayed home to await a storm that could potentially knock out power in some areas for days.

“Do not wait to begin making plans for this significant weather event!!” the National Weather Service said in an online alert, which warned of more than 7 inches of snow in northeast Georgia and more than half an inch of ice in the eastern part of the state.

Although the streets in Atlanta were left relatively bare by a Monday night snow dusting, the state’s Department of Transportation, taking no chances, urged drivers in Atlanta and northern Georgia “to refrain from all but absolutely necessary driving” until at least midday Thursday.

In preparation on Monday, grocery stores in the Atlanta area were slammed with residents eager to stock up on supplies and avoid a replay of the massive traffic disaster that turned the city into a national punch line at the end of January.

Fruit and breakfast foods were popular. So were wines. One young man at a Sam's Club commanded a shopping cart packed with at least eight cases of Bud Light and Corona beers.

"The water was basically all gone," Amana Abdul-Jabbaar, 30, told the Los Angeles Times in a phone interview after visiting a Kroger in Sandy Springs, where lines were so long that it took 25 minutes to check out in the express lane. "There were a lot of people in the store like it was Armageddon; they were stocking up on absolutely everything.” [more]

Georgia awaits 'crippling' ice storm 'of historical proportions'

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