ATLANTA — Weather forecasters’ predictions of debilitating snow and ice as far south as Georgia sent parts of the region into a tizzy Friday with shoppers scouring store shelves for storm supplies and road crews trying to prevent a repeat of past wintertime debacles.
In Virginia, where a blizzard left thousands of motorists trapped on clogged highways earlier this month, Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and urged people to take the approaching storm seriously. Some store shelves were stripped bare of essentials including bread and milk in North Carolina.
Trucks prepared to spray a briny mixture on roads to prevent icing across the region, and Travis Wagler said he hadn’t seen such a run on supplies at his Abbeville, South Carolina, hardware store in at least two winters.
“We’re selling everything you might expect: sleds, but also salt, shovels and firewood,” Wagler said from Abbeville Hardware. There, forecasters predict a quarter-inch (0.6 centimeters) of ice or more on trees and power lines, which could lead to days without electricity.
“People are worried,” Wagler said.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an emergency order saying the state would likely feel the effects of the major winter storm starting Sunday morning.
“There is a potential for very dangerous conditions caused by accumulations of ice and snow, which will likely result in power outages across the state,” he said.
The National Weather Service said from 2 inches (5 centimeters) to 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) of snow could fall as far south as northeast Georgia from Saturday evening though Sunday, and power outages and travel problems will be made all the worse by an additional coating of ice and winds gusting to 35 mph (56 km/h). Snow accumulations could reach 8 inches (20 centimeters) in the highest elevations.
The storm, after dipping down into the Southeast through the weekend, was so large it was expected to head into the Northeast while dropping snow, sleet and rain around…