Hundreds of Thousands Without Power in Southeast

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ATLANTA (AP) More than 500,000 homes and businesses in several Southeastern states are now without power, and the numbers are growing.

A winter storm has covered trees in sleet, snow and freezing rain, sending them crashing into power lines.

From Texas to the Carolinas, roads are slick, businesses and schools are closed and people are hunkered down. Forecasters say there won't be any relief until tomorrow.

In Atlanta where a storm took the region by surprise and stranded thousands in their vehicles just two weeks ago, tens of thousands are without power. But this time, city roads and interstates are clear.

Those who venture outside are feeling the sting of drops of sleet. A layer of ice covers car windshields. Slushy sidewalks make even short walking trips dangerous.

The storm is threatening to bring North Carolina to a halt. Traffic cameras show some roads in Charlotte barely moving, as snow falls on the state's largest city for the second straight day. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is asking President Barack Obama to declare the state a federal disaster area. Some areas of the state are expecting as much as 10 inches of snow.

Roads in eastern Alabama have been blocked by trees and branches brought down by the weight of the ice.