ATLANTA - A brutal winter storm dumped snow, sleet, and freezing rain from normally balmy Florida up the Southeast seaboard, including coastal Georgia, Wednesday, delivering a white coating that some cities hadn't seen in decades.
Cars spun out of control on icy overpasses from Texas to Georgia. The water park at Disney World and other Florida theme parks closed because of the unusually cold temperatures, adding to the misery of a dayslong bitter cold snap across the country.
Conditions are expected to worsen, especially in the Northeast.
Schools in the Southeast called off classes just months after being shut down because of hurricane threats, and police urged drivers to stay off the roads in a region little accustomed to the kind of winter woes common to the Northeast.
In Savannah, famed for its lush downtown parks and trees draped in Spanish moss, native William Shaw used baby steps to shuffle along a frozen road from his home to the post office.
"It almost seems the town is deserted just like in the last hurricane. There's no one on the street. It's got a little eerie feeling," said Shaw, 65.
The coastal city that hasn't seen measurable snowfall since February 2010 was expecting up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) of snow and sleet Wednesday. Dump trucks spread sand on bridges and major streets ahead of the storm and police closed a major causeway and several bridges because of ice.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency through Friday for 28 counties. School systems on the Alabama coast waived uniform requirements so students could bundle up.
The snow has ended in South Georgia, but the cold will linger.
Some areas in southeast Georgia saw several inches of snow, the most they have seen in nearly three decades. The storm will now move up the coast Wednesday night.
FOX 5 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist David Chandley expects colder air on the way overnight. Temperatures will fall Wednesday night into the teens and low 20s, but with a strong northwest wind, wind chills will drop to near 0.
There is a Wind Chill Advisory for most of metro Atlanta (from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. Thursday) and for the North Georgia mountains (from 9 p.m. Wednesday to Noon Thursday).
Temperatures will fail to get above freezing in some spots on Thursday.
Expect it to be dry into the weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.