Rare snowfall blankets South as East braces for oncoming storm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A powerful March snowstorm blanketed much of Alabama and then marched across Georgia yesterday, forcing some flight cancellations in Atlanta as the East Coast braced for a potential pummeling. Eastern seaboard cities along a corridor arcing through Washington, D.C. to Boston and beyond braced amid forecasts of potentially heavy snow accumulations early in the week as the storm began a trek up out of the Southeast. Alabama was first up for a rare white blanketing for the South in March. Most roads there were clear, but snowfall totals ranging from 1 to 4 inches forced more than 210 churches in central Alabama to cancel morning services as a precaution. About 2 inches of snow covered Civil War statues in Montgomery. ‘I think you can worship in this it’s so rare,’ said Vonda Braswell, throwing snowballs in her front yard instead of putting on her Sunday best. Scott Unger at the National Weather Service office in Birmingham said a winter storm warning was in effect until 3 p.m. yesterday mostly for several northern and eastern counties of Alabama – with much of the rest of the state under a winter storm advisory. He said snow accumulations could reach up to five inches in some areas of Alabama, where some churches canceled Sunday services and cold, blustery winds whipped even the usually balmy Gulf Coast. Michigan resident Wayne Letson fretted about sharing the roads with Southerners unaccustomed to winter weather as he drove through snowy Alabama toward Florida.