Weather

Arctic chills reach from Montana to Alabama

ATLANTA — The unyielding cold spell gripping much of the nation was expected to hang on tight over the weekend, though some areas that saw snowfall during the week were expected to have drier weather.

In Atlanta, more accustomed to winter temperatures in the low 50s, a glaze of ice coated roads Friday after light snow overnight melted and froze. Authorities said the continuing freeze called for renewed caution on the roadways.

Nearly 30 cars piled up in a pre-dawn crash near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

In Alabama, packed shelters brought out extra cots and opened doors for people fearful of the deadly cold.

"You have to be inside the way it is now. If you're not, they'll find you stiff," said Elizabeth Austin, a homeless woman who sought warmth at an inner-city Birmingham church.

Multiple deaths have been blamed on this week's cold, including a 44-year-old man whose body was found face-down in the snow early Friday in Billings, Mont.

In Ohio, a winter storm warning was in effect until this morning.

Schools in at least 10 states were closed, as were many roads and government offices.

The National Weather Service said 5 to 7 inches of snow was expected Friday across western Pennsylvania. In Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, it had snowed every day since New Year's, a stretch that meteorologists say is unusual.

Travel was beginning to return to normal Friday at Chicago's airports, after a storm that dumped about 8 inches of snow. The Chicago Department of Aviation said there were still minor delays at O'Hare International Airport because crews had to de-ice aircraft before they could take off.

Some Nebraska cities were cut off because highways leading in and out of town were blocked or all but impassable.

Snowfall was heaviest in Minnesota and parts of South Dakota, where some drifts were too big for snowplow drivers to clear.

In Mobile, Ala., hit by a rare arctic chill on the coast, Salvation Army spokesman Stacey Killingsworth said shelters were "filled to the brim." One that normally holds up to 28 homeless men a night has been averaging 115 in recent days, she said.

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