A storm spread more snow across the Deep South today, giving children from Arkansas to Georgia a rare chance to build snowmen but threatening travel to the Super Bowl.
The storm, which dumped up to 17 inches of snow in Oklahoma earlier this week, dropped between an inch and a foot in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee before stalling near the Alabama-Georgia line for most of the day.
As midnight approached, however, the storm was moving through northern Georgia, National Weather Service meteorologist Terry Murphy said.
Areas in north Georgia and parts of central Georgia got snow, sleet and freezing rain, he said. Icy rain fell on northeastern Alabama, rain fell on Atlanta, and snow started falling in western South Carolina.
The wintry mix was forecast to continue Saturday but end by Super Bowl Sunday, when no precipitation was expected, Murphy said.
As a precaution, Delta Air Lines canceled some flights into Atlanta this afternoon but promised to accommodate passengers trying to get to the Super Bowl. More than 100,000 people could come to Atlanta for the game between the Tennessee Titans and the St. Louis Rams.
In Arkansas, three deaths were blamed on the weather. One driver lost control of a sport-utility vehicle on an icy overpass in northeast Arkansas and another died after losing control of his pickup truck on a slushy road and hitting a tractor-trailer headed in the other direction in northwest Arkansas. The body of a man who apparently froze to death was found in Little Rock.
Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove (D) activated about 300 National Guard troops to help communities.
Officials elsewhere also were treating the weather with urgency.
In North Carolina, which was surprised by two feet of snow this week, Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. (D) asked President Clinton to declare 26 counties disaster areas. Clinton approved a disaster declaration for 30 Georgia counties because of an ice storm last week that left 500,000 customers without electricity and caused an estimated $55 million in damage.