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Bitter cold follows major snowstorm

Severe weather, fires, destroy homes across South while Atlantic coast digs out from major snowstorm.


March roared in like a lion Monday belting the Atlantic Coast with as much as a foot of snow and bone-chilling cold. Meanwhile, residents in several southern states picked up the pieces of their lives following severe storms and wildfires that damaged and destroyed a number of homes.

While schools closed up and down the coast, it was just another winter day in Maine.

"This is no worse than last week's storm," said the Rev. Cynthia Nickerson, pastor of Corinth United Methodist Church in Corinth, Maine. "We'll be back up and running tomorrow. The Post Office is open and I'm watching the highways. They're passable."

Nickerson said the church had to cancel its senior meals program for the day because schools were out of session, but that the church is ready to begin the program again tomorrow.

Corinth, in northern Maine, saw about 8 inches of snow fall, but areas in southern Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont received significantly more snow.

The snow and rain fall from the weekend is causing flooding across the South. As much as 4 inches of rain fell in some areas, with snowfall following it. A freeze watch is also in place in the Deep South.

Red flag warnings were posted in a relatively humidity free Florida on Monday. Officials are warning residents to be careful with flammable substances.

Flash flood watches and warmings were posted in Northern California. Moderate to heavy rain was expected to fall in the area Monday. The heavy rain could cause mudslides in the area, after wildfires over the last several years burned off many trees. Officials are warning residents to watch for the debris flows along roadways.

In Lee County, AL, storms damaged or destroyed at least 20 homes and a shelter was opened for those affected by the storm. The storms also knocked out power to many residents. Three to five inches of rain fell in parts of the area, causing flash flooding.

The Rev. Kendra Jacobs the pastor of Salem AME Church in Salem, AL, which was destroyed in weekend storms, said she was focusing on the hope expressed in a picture of praying hands that she found in the church building's rubble. The Salem church was flattened by one of three tornadoes that hit the state Saturday.

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