Deadly winter storm pummels South, targets Northeast

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A brutal winter storm dumped snow, sleet and freezing rain from normally balmy Florida up the Southeast seaboard Wednesday, delivering a white coating that some cities hadn’t seen in decades. Cars spun out of control on icy overpasses from Texas to Georgia.

The water park at Disney World and other Florida theme parks closed because of the unusually cold temperatures, adding to the misery of a dayslong bitter cold snap across the country. 

Forecasters warned that conditions could worsen, especially in the Northeast.

A winter storm warning extended from the Gulf Coast in Florida’s “Big Bend” region all the way up the Atlantic coast. Forecasters said hurricane-force winds blowing offshore on Thursday could generate 24-foot seas. Coastal flooding, downed trees and power lines were possible along the East Coast.

Schools in the Southeast called off classes just months after being shut down because of hurricane threats, and police urged drivers to stay off the roads in a region little accustomed to the kind of winter woes common to the Northeast.

In Savannah, famed for its lush downtown parks and trees draped in Spanish moss, native William Shaw used baby steps to shuffle along a frozen road from his home to the post office.

“It almost seems the town is deserted just like in the last hurricane. There’s no one on the street. It’s got a little eerie feeling,” said Shaw, 65.

The coastal city that hasn’t seen measurable snowfall since February 2010 was expecting up to 2 inches of snow and sleet Wednesday. Dump trucks spread sand on bridges and major streets ahead of the storm and police closed a major causeway and several bridges because of ice. 

In Tallahassee, Florida, Michigan transplant Laura Donaven built a snowman 6 inches tall. The city tweeted that snow fell there for the first time in 28 years. CBS Miami reports the last time Tallahassee received measurable snowfall was in December 1989 when an inch fell.   

“It was very neat to see. It had been…

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