Rare snow blankets Southeast

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --- A potent March snowstorm blanketed much of the South before heading toward the Northeast.

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People walk along Centennial Olympic Park Drive at Atlanta's Centennial Park as a powerful snowstorm hit. The storm covered Alabama and Georgia on Sunday, forcing some flight cancellations and recalling the March 1993 "Snowfall of the Century."  Associated Press
Associated Press
People walk along Centennial Olympic Park Drive at Atlanta's Centennial Park as a powerful snowstorm hit. The storm covered Alabama and Georgia on Sunday, forcing some flight cancellations and recalling the March 1993 "Snowfall of the Century."

It threatened to drop up to a foot of snow in the Philadelphia area, 13 inches in New York and 15 inches across southern New England 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.

Up to 7 inches of snow was expected through this morning in areas of Maryland, northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., where Mayor Adrian Fenty declared a snow emergency.

Despite above-freezing temperatures in downtown Atlanta, a heavy curtain of snow fell on cars and caused traffic accidents.

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.

The late Southern snowfall revived memories of a large storm in 1993 that forecasters nicknamed the "Snowfall of the Century," said Laura Griffith of the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga. In that storm, Atlanta received 4.2 inches of snow.

In South Carolina, officials warned people to stay inside as the state braced for a winter storm forecast to bring up to several inches of snow to the Palmetto State through today.

The National Weather Service posted winter storm warnings for most of the northern and central areas of South Carolina. Rain was expected to turn to snow and continue until this morning. Accumulations of up to half a foot or more were predicted for the Upstate region while 2 to 4 inches were expected to fall in the state's Midlands region.

Meteorologist Blair Holloway said if predictions held, it could be the area's most significant March snowstorm since nearly 10 inches were recorded at Greenville-Spartanburg Airport in 1993.

The state Highway Patrol has already begun deploying troopers for the increase in traffic accidents it expects to see during and after the storm, Sgt. Kelly Hughes said.

LOCAL SCHOOL CLOSINGS

Richmond County schools were expected to announce any cancellation or delay in classes by 5 a.m., according to Lou Svehla, spokesman for the school system. The following schedules have been announced for today:

CLOSED

- Columbia County (classes canceled; all 12-month contract employees -- including central office staff and school custodians -- are expected to report at 10 a.m.)

- Aiken County (12-month employees on two-hour delay)

- Augusta Christian Schools

- Augusta Preparatory Day School

- Edgefield County Schools

- McDuffie County Schools

- Westminster Schools

- Warren County

- Briarwood Academy

- Midland Valley Christian Academy and Day Care

- Fox Creek High School

DELAYED

- Augusta State University -- no classes until 10 a.m.

- Paine College -- classes delayed two hours

- University of South Carolina Aiken -- no classes until 11 a.m.; faculty and staff should report by 10:30 a.m.

- Aiken Technical College -- no classes until 11 a.m.

OPEN: NORMAL SCHEDULE

- Medical College of Georgia

SNOW PHOTOS



If it does snow, take pictures and send them to preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com. He'll post them on his weather blog.

Comments (31) Add comment
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curly123053
4671
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curly123053 03/02/09 - 01:06 am
0
0
hahahahahahahahaha

hahahahahahahahaha

Nammy
2
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Nammy 03/02/09 - 01:18 am
0
0
C'mon man, let it snow!!!!

C'mon man, let it snow!!!!

Just My Opinion
5627
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Just My Opinion 03/02/09 - 05:47 am
0
0
Well, I know he's probably

Well, I know he's probably going to take some critical hits today, but I certainly can't blame Columbia County School Superintendent Nagle for pulling the trigger and making the announcement Sunday that schools would be closed today. He had all the information in front of him that said we were going to get snow. I mean, every other place around us got it, but we sure didn't! I feel so sorry for all the kids here that can't play in it.

HotFoot
17
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HotFoot 03/02/09 - 06:13 am
0
0
I drove to Atlanta and back

I drove to Atlanta and back yesterday to take my daughter back to Georgia Tech after a weekend home. The highway dept. did NOTHING, even though they had ample warning of the storm. I saw numerous cars off the road and the area around Atl was ice, snow, and slush and you had to make sure you stayed in the car ahead's tire tracks to keep from drifting and sliding. People were going 35 mph on I-20 and the trucks would barrel by a few feet away and douse everybody. A little salt would have prevented the hazardous conditions. I know it very rarely happens down here, but up north, that would have been a nothing storm with no traffic problems. Down here, it was a disaster.

ConsiderThis
0
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ConsiderThis 03/02/09 - 06:31 am
0
0
RCBOE has 1 hour delay

RCBOE has 1 hour delay

politicallyNcorrect1
0
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/02/09 - 06:53 am
0
0
Just My Opinion ...This is

Just My Opinion ...This is always Augusta's story. Our local goverment leaders have always tried to make Augusta a nice place to visit for tourist. Augusta's problem? No One wants to come here, we can't even get the Snow to visit. Our local goverment are usually arguing over something which makes them so hot..If it did snow their red faces would quickly melt it:)

politicallyNcorrect1
0
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/02/09 - 06:58 am
0
0
midwesterntransplant ...What

midwesterntransplant ...What would you have them do? The state is low on funds they would have to call Obama & as for something, white..uhh..uhh salt...

Reality
3
Points
Reality 03/02/09 - 07:14 am
0
0
46 & sunny here, how much

46 & sunny here, how much snow is in Augusta....

BLACKOUTDAWG1
0
Points
BLACKOUTDAWG1 03/02/09 - 07:17 am
0
0
the south is the laughing

the south is the laughing stock of all states. it is a disgrace to let out school for no reason. i guess this is another way for aiken co. to save that precious money in the school system they have been complaining about. hell to the aiken co, admin.

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 03/02/09 - 07:18 am
0
0
mid:People around here can't

mid:People around here can't drive in the best of circumstances. My sister in law was taking my nephew to Connect with Tech and hit snow in Madison. Luckily they both stayed in Atlanta so didn't have to worry about the drive home.

spdermn78
4
Points
spdermn78 03/02/09 - 07:56 am
0
0
AMAZING!! You southerners get

AMAZING!! You southerners get worked up over nothing. "Possible 1-2 Inches of Snow" and schools start closing. Thats like cute litle snow dust. Are you serious. Try moving up north or a little west where they dont close school until you hear words like 4-6 FEET of snow. Where you wake up in the morning and the car in your driveway is buried under snow. I bet not one single person in RC or CC owns a snowblower. Gotta love the southeast!!

MartinezMom
0
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MartinezMom 03/02/09 - 08:09 am
0
0
spdermn78, The difference is

spdermn78, The difference is we aren't prepared for snow because we very seldom get it. Its nothing when it happens up north because everyone is used to it. Don't be so hard on us southern folk LOL

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 03/02/09 - 08:27 am
0
0
The Augusta weather shield,

The Augusta weather shield, once again, has turned the pending storm aside. The southern end of Edgefield didn't even get down to freezing and no snow fell anywhere in sight of my house. The roads are clear and it was just a cold rainy night, last night. The fireplace made for a comfortable and quiet evening.

HotFoot
17
Points
HotFoot 03/02/09 - 08:29 am
0
0
politicallyncorrect, what I

politicallyncorrect, what I would have them do is put down salt on the major interstates. I know this area seldom sees snow and ice, but I can't believe there isn't enough to get through one snow/ice storm, just in case. You think the northern states aren't strapped for cash? I've lived in Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis and various midwestern college towns and somehow they found money in the budget. And it's true, people don't know how to drive in it. That's not their fault, but argues that much more forcefully for taking other safety measures.

kiki123
0
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kiki123 03/02/09 - 08:32 am
0
0
The weather forecast in

The weather forecast in Augusta GA is a joke...
All evening long, prediction after prediction covering a whole quarter of the TV...
Please...

EJ
0
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EJ 03/02/09 - 08:35 am
0
0
Spdermn78, why in the world

Spdermn78, why in the world would anyone in RC or CC own a snowblower??? I'm originally from Boston, but have been down here for nearly 40 years and I've probably only seen snow about a half dozen times. For all you posters on here who don't like how we do things here, ie closing schools in anticipation of a snow storm, or how we drive in one or how we "get worked up over nothing"........PLEASE feel free to go back to wherever you came from, where you obviously do everything so right........and enjoy your snowstorms!!

Geistlich
0
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Geistlich 03/02/09 - 09:06 am
0
0
Once again we have the

Once again we have the Weather Service who cried wolf. How many times have we had runs on the grocery stores because of a winter weather warning only to wake up to sunny skies and near forty degree temperatures?

rufus
2
Points
rufus 03/02/09 - 09:08 am
0
0
One of the reasons I live in

One of the reasons I live in the south is because I like the weather.

HotFoot
17
Points
HotFoot 03/02/09 - 09:21 am
0
0
Hey, TechLover, Connect with

Hey, TechLover, Connect with Tech is a fantastic program. It certainly did the job in convincing my daughter to enroll. Wish I could say the same for the program the UGA Honors Program put on. It was amateurish, by comparison. Hope your family member decides to opt for Tech.

elkogirl
1
Points
elkogirl 03/02/09 - 10:00 am
0
0
amen ej!!!

amen ej!!!

Debster
1
Points
Debster 03/02/09 - 10:20 am
0
0
I get so sick of people

I get so sick of people complaining about Southerners and driving in snowy conditions. First of all, to spdrmn78: we live in the south, not in the north where snow is a factor more than half the year. Secondly, I applaud Superintendent Nagle for making the early decision to close schools today. Is that because I have an 8-year-old son in the system? No, it's because at the time he made the decision, forecasters were calling for snow and icy road conditions early this morning. If if means safety for our kids and our bus drivers, then I am all for making an early decision. For those of you who don't like living here in the south, there is always another city you can call home ... go find it!

SIGHER
0
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SIGHER 03/02/09 - 11:13 am
0
0
Not just the bus

Not just the bus drivers..think about all the teenagers that have never learned to drive in icy, snowy conditions...scary! And you know they would want to try and drive in it. I know I did!

Niko Mahs
83
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Niko Mahs 03/02/09 - 11:27 am
0
0
We are safe! Pam Tucker

We are safe! Pam Tucker scared the snow away!

debjohn
0
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debjohn 03/02/09 - 11:32 am
0
0
I certainly think that

I certainly think that Columbia County jumped the gun and called off school way too early. They had made a decisin well before 5:00 on Sunday. As everyone could see this morning, they sure got fooled. Why not wait until early Monday morning after checking the road conditions to make the call? I'm sure this created hardships for many parents who still had to work today but had no one to care for their children.

Mr. Thackeray
905
Points
Mr. Thackeray 03/02/09 - 01:13 pm
0
0
What a JOKE! Most parts of

What a JOKE! Most parts of the country the adminstrators get up at 3-4 am and make the call. Gues she wanted to sleep in!

Another day of education time wasted!

juliebac
0
Points
juliebac 03/02/09 - 01:59 pm
0
0
Funny people here...if school

Funny people here...if school is cancelled too early, they fuss...if administrators wait until early am, they fuss...never happy unless fussing. A solution? Move away, and fuss there. Or, novel thought...apply for the job yourself!

Mr. Thackeray
905
Points
Mr. Thackeray 03/02/09 - 04:18 pm
0
0
Been there done that

Been there done that julie...that is why I know of what I speak. They wasted a day of education rather than make an early morning decision.

aintryt
189
Points
aintryt 03/02/09 - 04:57 pm
0
0
Thanks for posting about all

Thanks for posting about all the school closing/delays except Augusta Tech. Classes were delayed until 10am.

Unforgiven
0
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Unforgiven 03/02/09 - 05:05 pm
0
0
If the snow blanketed the

If the snow blanketed the south east, it had a huge hole in it with it passed this area.

bone
23
Points
bone 03/02/09 - 05:13 pm
0
0
okay, for all the whiners -

okay, for all the whiners - ESPECIALLY PARENTS - complaining about CCBOE calling off school on Sunday, let me remind you what would have happened if CCBOE had waited until Monday: COMPLAINTS BECAUSE THE INFORMATION INDICATED A DECISION COULD HAVE BEEN MADE EARLY! no, debjohn, i think parents were relieved that they had time to make plans rather than scurry around to find babysitters or whatever.

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