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South storm heads for winter-weary Northeast

The snow-and-ice storm that has shut down much of the South slowly rolled toward the Northeast on Tuesday, revealing a regional culture clash along the way.

Southerners seemed resigned to waiting out winter headaches such as slick roads and paralyzed airports. But people from Ohio to New York, who face up to a foot of snow in their third blast of winter in as many weeks, were already putting pressure on state and local governments to spare them from travel tangles and snow-choked roads.

Across the South, communities remained encrusted in ice and snow for a second straight day. Road crews fared little better than in the storm's opening hours, owing mostly to their lack of winter equipment. Frustrated motorists sat idle on slippery pavement or moved at a creep. Millions of people just stayed home.

In Atlanta, which had only 10 pieces of snow equipment when the storm hit, officials planned to bring in nearly 50 more pieces -- the most resources marshaled for a storm in a decade. Mayor Kasim Reed said backup supplies of salt and sand were on the way, too.

Mail delivery was restricted to just a few places because postal employees could not get to work. Many schools and other institutions planned to stay closed today out of caution. The storm has been blamed for 11 deaths and many more injuries.

Despite the inconvenience, Southerners confronted the aftermath with patience -- and a certain amount of wonder.

Lynn Marentette, a school psychologist who lives south of Charlotte, stayed home after classes were canceled. She spent the day catching up with friends on Facebook and watching children sled down a nearby hill -- and ignored the stack of paperwork on her desk.

"It is a beautiful, beautiful day out there," she said.

Andre Borshch, owner of a chimney maintenance company in New York City, worried that the city recovering from a Christmas weekend blizzard could come to a halt again.

"I'm not sure anybody's going to make the right decisions," he said. "Alaska and Canada spend six months like this, and they have no problems. But here in New York, the city doesn't know what to do with snow. It's like they've forgotten how to do it."

New York City and its suburbs could get 8 to 14 inches of snow, with reduced visibility and wind gusts up to 35 mph, forecasters said. Long Island could get as much as 15 inches. In New England, forecasters were predicting up to a foot across most of Connecticut and the Boston area.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino late Tuesday declared a snow emergency, which bans parking on all major streets and closes public schools.

By Tuesday evening, widespread flight cancellations moved from the South into the Northeast and Great Lakes ahead of the storm. More than 3,500 flights had been scrubbed for Tuesday, and at least 1,000 more were expected to be canceled today from Atlanta to Chicago to Boston.

American Airlines expected hundreds of cancellations, but international ones leaving out of New York's Kennedy Airport were sacrosanct.

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