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Winter Weather Cancels Flights, Sends Power Crews to Work

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RALEIGH — Freezing rain began falling Saturday afternoon in the Triangle, but it did not cause anywhere close to the damage sustained by last week's ice storm.

However, many people made sure they were prepared. The storm's effects were already being felt at the airport.

Flights to and from some Midwestern and Northeastern cities were cancelled or delayed atRaleigh-Durham International, including Phyllis Veaulieu and her friends' flight to Cincinnati.

"The rest of our party is upstairs playing cards and hanging around," Veaulieu said. "We're staying with our luggage because we can't check it in until later."

R.D.U. officials said the problem would only get worse if freezing hit the Triangle.

"We could be faced with delays and cancellations like we were last week," says Mike Blanton, R.D.U. spokesperson. "Once we get in a deicing mode, that does take some time, so we're kind of in a standby mode right now."

Carolina Power & Lightsent its emergency crews from Raleigh to Virginia, Roxboro, and Henderson Saturday morning, the areas they believe will be hardest hit.

Some customers who lost power during last week were not taking any chances this time.

"I'm getting a radiator," says Sue Bush of Raleigh. "My heat pump's not pumping a lot of warm air so I've got one of those radiators that normally sell for $44. Now they're selling for $39, so I said I'll pick me up one and I'll stay toasty."

In Cary, where some customers lost lights and heat for days, theHome Depotsold out of generators, and heaters were going fast.

"We've had quite a large run on generators, that's obviously for a backup power source," says Brad Barker with Home Depot. "Also because of the loss of electricity, kerosene heaters have been very very popular."

CP&L is estimating that the Triangle will get about a tenth of an inch of ice, not enough to cause damage. The ice that caused widespread outages last week was a quarter inch to half an inch thick.