From power to potholes: A look at the latest storm

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Associated Press

Posted on February 12, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 12 at 10:00 PM

The winter-weary East Coast is getting hit with another storm, one that's dropping snow and ice in the Southeast before it's expected to track northward and dump several inches in and around some of the nation's biggest cities. Here's a sampling of what the latest round of winter weather is wreaking:

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DIRE FORECAST: The National Weather Service called the storm "catastrophic ... crippling ... paralyzing ... choose your adjective" for the South, including Atlanta, where a storm a few weeks ago created huge traffic jams. A National Weather Service map of the storm showed possible effects hitting 22 states from Texas to Maine.

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TREACHEROUS TRAVEL: More than 3,300 flights were canceled across the country, according to the website FlightAware. At least nine traffic deaths have been reported, including those of three people killed after an ambulance careened off a slick Texas highway and caught fire and a firefighter killed when he was knocked off an interstate ramp in Dallas. The mayor of Washington planned to declare a snow emergency, meaning vehicles parked on emergency routes will be towed, for the first time since 2010.

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IN THE DARK: More than 500,000 homes and businesses lacked power in several Southeastern states by Wednesday evening.

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TRAFFIC TROUBLES: The stormy weather sweeping into southern and central Virginia wreaked havoc on the roads, as state police responded to more than 100 highway crashes. In Atlanta, 129 crashes were reported to the Georgia State Patrol between 2 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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POTHOLE PLETHORA: A relentless cycle of snow and bitter cold is testing the nation's infrastructure. New York City crews filled 69,000 potholes in the first five weeks of the year, nearly twice as many as the same period in 2013. In Iowa, a Des Moines official said the city has never endured so many broken water mains.

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WINTER CELEBRATION DELAYED: A celebration of winter tourism in the Olympic village of Lake Placid, N.Y., has been postponed because of storm forecasts. Plans had called for visitors take part in skiing, bobsledding and other winter sports at the sites that hosted the 1980 and 1932 Winter Olympics. A new date has not been chosen.

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STOCKING UP: "It's a survival instinct. We're taught to stock up in case we can't leave the house," says Virginia Lee, a senior research analyst with Euromonitor International in Chicago. Her research company tracks only annual sales figures, but she says there is little doubt of a spike in sales of staples including bread, milk and eggs ahead of the storm.

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