Atlanta Airport Reopens After Storm

About 102,000 customers had no electricity Sunday in Georgia (search) while crews worked to repair power lines snapped by an ice storm, and the city's airport reopened all its runways as temperatures rose above freezing.

Two traffic deaths in Georgia and one in South Carolina were blamed on the storm that spread sleet and freezing rain across parts of the Southeast on Saturday.

By Sunday, all four runways at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (search) were operational again. Only two — and at one point only one — of its four runways were available Saturday as crews labored to scrape off ice.

"There still isn't enough demand to have all four operating, but it's much easier today to maintain four runways," airport spokeswoman Lanii Thomas said, adding that about 300 stranded airline passengers spent the night at the airport because their flights were canceled.

Thick blankets of ice began melting Sunday as temperatures climbed above freezing. Highs reached the 40s for northern Georgia and the 60s in the southern part of the state.

Even with the improved weather, fewer than 100 departures were scheduled out of the world's busiest passenger airport Sunday morning, Thomas said.

AirTran (search) canceled 51 of its estimated 500 flights scheduled for Sunday because of "crews and airplanes being out of place," spokesman Tad Hutcheson said. The airline expected operations to return to normal Sunday night.

Delta, which only operated 8 percent of its flights in Atlanta the previous day, planned to offer 70 percent of its normal schedule Sunday, spokesman Anthony Black said.

The icy weather also forced airlines to cancel scores of flights Saturday at airports in Greenville-Spartanburg and Columbia, S.C., and at Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C.

Amtrak canceled rail service for Sunday morning from Raleigh to Charlotte.

Georgia Power said 59,000 homes and businesses it serves were without power Sunday and the Electric Membership Corp. reported 43,000 customers blacked out. Many of the outages were in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

Thousands of utility workers toiled through the night to restore power "only to have new pockets of customers go out as the ice collected on the power lines," said Electric Membership Corp. spokeswoman Terri Brown.

Both companies said they hoped to return power by Monday at the latest.

In North Carolina, power was restored to 9,000 customers who had been blacked out. Utility officials in South Carolina estimated about 5,000 customers were still in the dark Sunday, down from 11,000 on Saturday.