ByCameron McWhirter andValerie Bauerlein
Updated Feb. 12, 2014
ATLANTA—A deadly storm that has hammered the Southeast—knocking out power in three states and jamming roads in North Carolina—is expected to sweep farther up the coast Thursday, bringing more heavy snowfall to a winter-battered region.
Georgia and the Carolinas were raked with freezing rain and snow Wednesday, on the front end of a two-day storm that the National Weather Service warned could be of historic proportions.
Of particular fear was an ice cover that could measure more than an inch, slicking roads and weighing down power lines. The snow and rain, pelting in waves, hardened into a thick layer of frozen slush.
Roads were gridlocked in Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., as people who drove to work in the morning when skies were clear headed home in a fast-falling snow. Some abandoned their cars and walked home or checked into hotels.
Footage of normally busy streets in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs on Wednesday morning depict a mostly barren landscape as icy rain and snow fell on most of Georgia.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said it responded to twice as many accidents as usual.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory asked people to hunker down for a “tough 48 hours,” staying off the roads and taking precautions at home.
“Don’t put on your stupid hat,” Mr. McCrory said a news conference.
The weather forced the hotly anticipated men’s basketball game between Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to be postponed until Feb. 20.
The Atlantic Coast Conference and teams had insisted the game would go forward if the teams and referees could get there, but the grim conditions prevented Duke’s bus from picking its players up and trekking 9 miles to the game.
Rebecca Workman, manager of Top of the Hill across from the UNC campus, said her restaurant and brewery was packed at nightfall despite the weather and game cancellation.
“People are looking out the window at the snow,” Ms. Workman said. “It’s the South, and a snow day like this is always exciting.”