ATLANTA (AP) -- The record-setting cold weather that settled over Georgia during the night has claimed its first life.
In Columbus, a man described as homeless was found outside in a vacant lot shortly before 6 a.m. Tuesday, Muscogee County Coroner Eddie Bryan said. Paul Garner, whose frozen body was discovered by another homeless person, succumbed to hypothermia brought on by the extreme cold, Bryan said.
Garner, 51, was dressed in blue jeans and a pull-over sweatshirt, and a stocking cap was found about 15 feet away, Bryan said. There were two blankets at the scene, but one was beside Garner and the other one was wrapped around his legs, Bryan said.
Temperatures plunged to 6 degrees above zero in Atlanta and 6 degrees below zero in the north Georgia mountains as the coldest air in years settled over the state. (See separate story.)
"First time I've seen it this cold since the late '70s or early '80s," said Sean Addams, 53, as he waited for a bus in Atlanta. "This is very, very rare for us, you know. Too cold."
At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, spokesman Reese McCranie said he understood there were about 17 flight delays Monday evening due to frozen or very cold equipment. However, "our own operations have not been impacted," he said of the airport itself.