Storms causes outages, traffic jams, flight cancelations and federal shutdown

ATLANTA (AP) — A winter storm that rolled out of the South and is making its way to the Northeast has left more than 500,000 homes and businesses without power.

It's made roads treacherous and is blamed for at least 11 deaths in the South.

Atlanta residents heeded the warnings of icy roads and mainly avoided driving. But that wasn't the case in the Raleigh, N.C., area. Normally quick commutes were turned into marathon trips because of slippery roads. Some motorists abandoned their cars.

The storm is expected to generate at least a half-foot of snow Thursday in parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. As a precaution, the federal government will be closed because of a snowy forecast in the nation's capital.

Air travel has also been snarled. Nearly 3,300 flights have been canceled nationwide.