Chuck Burton  /  AP
Alfredo Fuentes spreads salt on a sidewalk in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday. forecasters warned that snow and eventually freezing rain could knock out power and make roads treacherous.
updated 2/1/2007 9:59:45 PM ET 2007-02-02T02:59:45

A winter storm rushed across the Southeast on Thursday, closing schools and grounding flights a day after coating roads with deadly ice in the Plains.

A winter storm warning covered the western Carolinas and northern Georgia, and more than 4 inches of snow fell in spots. A wintry mix of snow and sleet reached as far south as Mississippi.

Officials blamed at least one death on the icy roads. A man driving near Mount Airy, N.C., slid in front of a tractor-trailer on slick pavement and died in the collision, police said.

By the time most people headed to work in central South Carolina, snowflakes had turned to a cold, steady rain.

"I'm scared to drive just when it's raining," said Marie Davis, 68, of Columbia, S.C. "The bad part is the other people. They drive like crazy."

Schools and businesses across the region closed or opened late, more than 2,000 homes and businesses lost power in western North Carolina, and flights were canceled.

Warmer weather was forecast for Friday as the storm pushed east.

"I don't think by tomorrow we're going to have any concerns," said Harry Gerapetritis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Greer, S.C.

More trouble for Oklahoma
Meanwhile, Oklahoma grappled with a second, trailing storm that kept roads slick and dangerous.

"We made it through rush hour this morning pretty good, but the roads are getting pretty tricky," Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Chris West said.

The weather service issued a snow advisory for 41 Oklahoma counties from Thursday evening until noon Friday.

The storm dropped snow and freezing drizzle on the area, causing dozens of accidents and four deaths in Oklahoma. The deaths included an emergency medical technician who died Thursday, hours after the ambulance she was riding in ran off the road.

A fifth woman died Wednesday in Arkansas when her vehicle slid across a highway median and crashed with a tractor-trailer.

The pair of storms followed a three-day storm that hit Oklahoma beginning Jan. 12, causing caused 32 deaths and leaving more than 120,000 homes and businesses without power across eastern Oklahoma.

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Video: Snow, ice and danger


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