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Rare snow blankets South as East braces for storm

By: AP
By: AP

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A potent March snowstorm blanketed much
of Alabama with up to 4 inches of snow Sunday, covering Civil War
statues and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of church
services.

The storm headed toward the Northeast and threatened to drop up
to 14 inches of snow in the Philadelphia area and 13 inches in New
York late Sunday.

In Georgia, the snowfall made roads treacherous and delayed
flights, while in Alabama, more than 210 churches in the central
part of the Bible Belt state had to cancel morning services.

The University of Georgia will delay its opening Monday until
noon. University spokesman Tom Jackson announced the delay.

Despite above-freezing temperatures in downtown Atlanta, a heavy
curtain of snow fell on cars and caused traffic accidents on slushy
streets. The unusual weather prompted 26-year-old Jessi Prahl and
Max DiPace to take their dog, Cooper, on a walk through
snow-covered Piedmont Park in Atlanta.

Says Prahl: "You know us Southerners, we all freak out when it
snows." Some flights were canceled at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
International Airport, where the average delay was nearly two
hours, according to a Federal Aviation Administration Web site.

Georgia transportation officials warned of potential icy buildup
on roadways in middle and northern counties through Monday morning,
especially as temperatures plummet overnight.

The late Southern snowfall revived memories of a large storm in
1993 that forecasters nicknamed the "Snowfall of the Century,"
affecting the region from Alabama to north of Washington, D.C.

Laura Griffith of the National Weather Service in Peachtree
City, Ga., says in that storm, Atlanta received 4.2 inches of snow
and 13 inches fell on Birmingham.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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