Authorities and residents in Atlanta appeared more prepared for the influx of snow and ice Wednesday, than they did two weeks ago, when an inch of snow paralyzed the city with gridlock.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed held a news conference Tuesday night encouraging people to stay off the roads, Fox News reported.
"The message I really want to share is, as of midnight tonight, wherever you are, you need to plan on staying there for a while," Reed said. "The bottom line is that all of the information that we have right now suggests that we are facing an icing event that is very unusual for the metropolitan region and the state of Georgia."
The National Weather Service has predicted 3 to 5 inches of snow for the southern state and has called the storm “an event of historical proportions.” Ice and sleet have also begun coating the streets causing potential travel hazards.
Hartsfield-Jackson International airport in Atlanta has canceled about 70 percent of its flights. And FlightAware.com reported more than 2,600 flights across the nation to have been canceled as of Wednesday morning. Delta Air Lines reported that many of its employees in Atlanta were forced to sleep in planes Tuesday night because all the hotels in the area were booked.
Power outages are another hassle that have resulted from the winter squall. Georgia Power has already reported more than 2,000 residents without electricity. And winter warnings suggest that these outages could last up to a week.
"Widespread and extended power outages are likely as ice accumulates on trees and power lines and brings them down,” winter advisories in 22 states said. "Please prepare to be without power in some locations for days and perhaps as long as a week."
Residents in parts of North Carolina have been told to expect up to a foot of snow, while the southwestern region of Virginia is expected to receive up to 14 inches, CNN reports. Mississippi could receive up to 4 inches of snow as well.
Texas has already been hit with the wintry mix as streets were coated in ice, resulting in numerous traffic accidents that were responsible for four deaths.
The storm is expected to inch up the coast and arrive in Washington and Baltimore by Wednesday night, The Weather Channel reported. Areas from Virginia all the way through New York could receive anywhere from 5 to 12 inches of snow while parts of New England could see as much as 18 inches of snow.
“No matter where the rain and snow lines eventually set up, there will likely be widespread travel disruption in the Middle Atlantic and Northeast from Virginia to Maine in the Wednesday night through early Friday time frame,” The Weather Channel reported.