Georgia Slowly Thaws Out After Ice Storm

The thick blankets of ice that caused havoc on Georgia roadways and runways began slowly melting, aiding efforts to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses hit by a winter blast.

By Monday morning, about 57,000 homes and businesses in the state still were without power; an improvement over the 102,000 who were without power Sunday afternoon.

Georgia Power (search) had about 32,000 customers still without power Monday morning. Meanwhile, Georgia Electric Membership Corp. (search) reported Monday it had 25,000 customers without power.

"We're working and hopefully we'll have everyone on by Monday evening," said Georgia Power spokeswoman Konswello Monroe, who added that more outages still were possible as melting ice threatened the stability of trees.

All four runways at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (search) were operational again — a day after the airport had all runways closed for about an hour and never had more than two runways open.

Airport spokeswoman Lanii Thomas said the weekend ice storm left about 300 stranded airline passengers who had to spend a night at Hartsfield-Jackson.

The worst affected airline was AirTran (search), which canceled 51 of its estimated 500 flights for Sunday "due to crews and airplanes being out of place," spokesman Tad Hutcheson said. He said the schedule was getting back to normal Sunday night.

Slick roads throughout the state, which played roles in at least two Georgia drivers' deaths as the storm set in Friday night, began clearing up as temperatures climbed above the freezing mark, said state Department of Transportation spokesman Ron Battle.

Georgia State Patrol spokesman Larry Schnall said dangerous conditions still existed, especially in rural and shady areas and along bridges. Extra troopers were deployed throughout the state.

Meanwhile, a winter storm warning was in effect for the Oklahoma Panhandle on Monday and a snow advisory was issued for northwestern Oklahoma as a new winter storm brought frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall to parts of the state.

The National Weather Service (search) said an upper level low pressure system was forecast to move east from eastern New Mexico overnight, triggering snow in the far western Panhandle and Texas.

In northwest North Carolina, officials in many counties decided to delay school Monday for two hours because secondary roads may still be slippery. In the foothills, ice dropped off trees and fog was thick Sunday morning.