The city stood ready Wednesday with more than 300 salt spreaders, 1,700 plows, and 200 front-end loaders, backhoes and Bobcats. Sanitation workers were on 12-hour shifts.
Seth Andrews, a spokesman for the city's Office of Emergency Management, said that as of around 3:30 a.m. no serious problems had been reported although a few vehicles had gotten stuck. He said crews were out in full force to handle any emergencies.
Snow and ice had already shut down much of the South for two days before the storm joined forces with another coming in from the Midwest and swept northward.
Road crews lacked winter equipment, salt and sand to clear the roads, and millions of people just stayed home. Mail delivery was restricted, and many schools and other institutions closed. The storm was blamed for 11 deaths and many more injuries.
Some schools remained closed Wednesday in western North Carolina, as well as schools in Charlotte, the state's largest city. Workers reported progress clearing highways but warned many secondary roads remained dangerous because of ice. A winter weather advisory was in effect until noon in northwestern South Carolina as up to 9 inches of melted snow refroze on the roads.
Despite the inconvenience, Southerners confronted the aftermath with patience and a measure of wonder.
Lynn Marentette, a school psychologist who lives south of Charlotte, N.C., stayed home after classes were canceled. She spent Tuesday catching up with friends on Facebook and watching children sled down a nearby hill — and ignored the stack of paperwork on her desk.
"It is a beautiful, beautiful day out there," she said. "I have some paperwork and some things I've really put off doing, but how often do you have a chance to enjoy the snow?"
Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Frank Eltman in Carle Place, N.Y.; Kiley Armstrong; Sara Kugler Frazier, Chris Hawley, Karen Matthews and Ula Ilnytzky in New York; Beth DeFalco in Trenton, N.J.; Dorie Turner, Don Schanche and Errin Haines in Atlanta; Bill Poovey in Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Gary D. Robertson in Raleigh, N.C.
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