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Snow, freezing rain and ice cover parts of the southern U.S., with officials warning of potential 'catastrophic' effects.

Travel chaos and power outages as another major storm blasts the U.S. southern states

Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 10:03 AM -

The first round of this weeks' winter storms brought ice and snow to the southern U.S. states on Tuesday, stretching all the way from Texas to North Carolina.

The major problem so far, and the major concern looking into the future, is ice.

The icy conditions have been blamed on a number of crashes, but officials warned that Wednesday's weather would be much worse.

SEE ALSO: Worst ice storm in years coats southern Ontario.

"I would caution everyone that the second round is going be much more serious than what we have seen today (Tuesday) in metropolitan Atlanta," said Georgia governor Nathan Deal.

In a Tuesday teleconference, the National Weather Service briefed emergency officials in the Atlanta area on what was to come, warning ice storms could have a "catastrophic" effect, leaving some people without electricity for as much as a week.

Thousands of flights were cancelled ahead of the storm and Amtrak says it has suspended rail service in the South, Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast as well.

"This is not going to be the same kind of event we had a couple weeks ago where we had more traffic tie-ups. This is going to be where we lose power, have folks we're probably going to have to rescue, etc," says Sue Leoffler, Acting Director of Dekalb Emergency Management.

"We're not kidding. We're not just crying wolf. It is serious business," adds governor Deal.

Road crews are staged along nearly empty highways and electric companies are ready to spring into action when power lines go down.

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