The South reeled under a third straight day of snow and ice yesterday, and the storm then surged up the East Coast, dumping up to eight inches in North Carolina and coating New York City for a second day. Since Saturday, the weather has been blamed for 200 deaths.
The Midwest, meanwhile, was hit by a "potentially dangerous" new storm that plunged temperatures below zero and brought predictions of new snow and high winds today.
In Raleigh, N.C., visibility was reduced to only a few feet by the haze-like, granular snow. Traffic on downtown streets was reduced to one or two cars every 15 minutes.
By mid-evening, the storm reached New England. Nine hundred workers were dispatched to salt and plow New York City streets, where four inches were expected on top of six that fell Wednesday.
Hurricane-force winds whipped through the foothills of the Rockies. Winds gusting to 104 mph were reported in Boulder, Colo., pulling the roof off a small apartment house.
Traffic was hazardous from Texas to New England, and scattered power outages were reported across the Deep South as snow moved north. Seven inches of snow fell yesterday in northern Georgia; Wednesday's storm was Georgia's worst in 42 years.
In Alabama, 750,000 people -- nearly a fourth of the state's people -- were without power after sleet and snow-burdened tree limbs snapped power lines.
Low temperature records were set yesterday in Minnesota and Michigan and Texas, and forecasters predicted no immediate relief.
"We've had a real cold weather pattern since the New Year began across the Northern states, and when it stays very cold it's kind of setting up a situation where anything else that comes your way is going to be even colder," said Nolan Duke of the National Weather Service center in Kansas City, Mo. "There are towns in western North Dakota that haven't gotten above zero since the year began."
His colleague, Larry Wilson, blamed the weather on a jet stream pattern blowing from the Northwest to the Southeast. West of the Rockies, he said, winter has been fairly mild.
In Florida, where a disastrous freeze damaged millions of dollars worth of citrus fruit, wholesale prices for orange concentrate have been raised by almost 12 percent and consumers soon will see higher juice prices at the supermarket.
And in Massachusetts, some communities have scraped the last pennies from their snow removal funds and may be forced to cut other services to raise money.
The city of Boston may have to turn off street lights or leave garbage uncollected because it already has gone over its $325,000 budget for snow removal.
Cambridge has nothing left in its $175,000 snow budget and has asked the City Council to transfer money into the account.
The state Public Works department has already spent nearly all of its $11.7 million snow-clearance budget and has requested a $6.5 million supplement to plow the state's 11,700 miles of highway.
In New Hampshire, the state House of Representatives postponed a special session on the budget until next Tuesday.