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Storm Leaves US South in Deep Freeze, Heads North

City contractors spread sand and tar on roadways in the early morning hours after an overnight winter storm that so far had deposited seven inches of snow in Johns Creek, Ga., Jan 10, 2011

A fierce winter storm that froze roadways and forced flight cancellations in the southeastern United States is now poised to strike New York, and other parts of the northeast, with as much as 36 centimeters of snow.

The large storm system pounded parts of the southern U.S. that are unaccustomed to dealing with winter weather, dropping up to 15 centimeters of snow Sunday and Monday. Governors from Louisiana to North Carolina declared states of emergency Monday, closing schools and public offices to keep people off of dangerous roads.

Icy conditions have stranded trucks on a highway in Atlanta, Georgia. With temperatures expected to stay below freezing, it could be several days before the snow and ice will thaw.

Hundreds of departing flights were canceled Tuesday in Atlanta at the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson.

The storm is heading northeast toward New York City, where it will test city officials who have admitted to mishandling their response to a blizzard last month that left many parts of the city unplowed and many emergency calls unanswered. Much of the new snow is expected to fall overnight and Wednesday morning.

Airports in New York, Boston, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, already have canceled some flights scheduled for Wednesday.