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Deadly US ice storm turns Atlanta into parking lot, strands thousands

Published on Jan 30, 2014 8:01 AM

ATLANTA (REUTERS) - A rare ice storm turned Atlanta into a slippery mess on Wednesday, stranding thousands for hours on frozen roadways and raising questions about how city leaders prepared for and handled the cold snap that slammed the United States (US) South.

The storm, which has killed at least seven people, on Tuesday swept over a region of about 60 million largely unaccustomed to ice and snow - stretching from Texas through Georgia and into the Carolinas - and forecasts called for more freezing weather on Thursday.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed came under fire for his response to a storm that trapped hundreds of children in schools overnight, some without provisions, and created traffic jams stretching for kilometres on roads coated with 5cm of snow.

"Folks are angry with the mayor of Atlanta, with the governor," said Ms Flavia DiCesare, 54, who spent the night in her office at Cox Enterprises in Atlanta, about 48km from home.

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