Southern States hit by Powerful Storm

A rare but powerful winter storm marched across the South early Friday, spreading rain, sleet, ice and snow from Texas to Georgia.

The Southern states were getting a smaller dose of what the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region have had this past week as they dig out from a pair of record-setting blizzards.

Hundreds of Atlanta flights were canceled for Friday as snow began to bear down on the area.

Delta Air Lines canceled about 800 flights into and out of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and AirTran Airways canceled 32 flights ahead of the storm, according to airline representatives.

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The new storm was taking a more southerly route than the previous two. Accumulations of up to 5 inches were predicted for parts of southeast Mississippi and southwest and south-central Alabama overnight Thursday into Friday.

Downtown Atlanta could get as much as 5 inches of snow Friday, beginning at midmorning, according to CNN meteorologist Chad Myers.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport had recorded 12.5 inches by Friday morning. It was the greatest 24-hour total in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since 12.1 inches fell January 15, 1964, the National Weather Service said.

Louisiana closed state government offices in 42 parishes for Friday because of the storm.

In Washington, more than 250,000 federal workers were told to report to work Friday after having four days off because of the pair of winter storms.

“Employees should plan to arrive for work no more than two hours later than they would normally arrive, and employees who cannot report for work may take unscheduled leave,” said a statement from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The first storm dumped more than 30 inches of snow in some places last weekend, while the latest punch dropped 22.5 inches on Baltimore, Maryland; 15.8 inches on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and about 10 inches on Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia; Central Park in New York; and Atlantic City, New Jersey, the weather Service said.

Records for total snowfall for the season have been set at Dulles International Airport west of Washington with 72 inches; Philadelphia with 70.3; Baltimore with 70.1; Reagan Washington National Airport with 55.6; and Atlantic City with 48.7, according to the weather service.

In the aftermath of what some are calling “Snowmageddon,” most power had been restored. Potomac Electric Power Co. said nearly all customers in metro Washington will have their power restored by early Friday evening.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” power company spokesman Bob Hainey said Thursday. “Our goal is to get everyone back on as soon as possible.”

Dulles and Reagan airports reopened Thursday after closing the afternoon before

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