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USA TODAY compares how cities have dealt with snow, ice and subzero temperatures, and what it takes to slow down even the most winter-hardened cities.

MORE: Rare ice, snow shock Deep South

Atlanta

Snow: 2-3 inches

Icy conditions left thousands of motorists stranded on roads or forced them to abandon their cars on Wednesday. City offices were closed. Some students had to camp out in their schools.

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Tallahassee, Fla.

Snow: 1-2 inches

A winter storm warning — a rare event for North Florida — went into effect Tuesday. All schools in Leon County were closed Wednesday, and parts of the Interstate 10 bridges were closed due to icing. North Florida is not equipped with plows and other trucks to clear roads, so "the best thing is to just close the roads," said Edith Taylor, an emergency management official for Leon County. Government services remained open.

Columbia, S.C.

Snow: 1-3 inches

The governor declared a state of emergency on Tuesday. Most local governments statewide are closed, said Derrec Becker, public information officer with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. "Yes, we do have equipment. Yes, we have training," Becker said. "But people who live here are not as accustomed as driving in snow." The state had more than 1,200 traffic incidents Tuesday night, he said.

Alabama

Snow: Up to 4 inches

Hundreds of schools, government offices and businesses shut down until Thursday in central and south Alabama. A seven-vehicle pileup killed two people, reports The Montgomery Advertiser.

Minneapolis

Temperature: -30 degrees

It wasn't snow but dangerously cold temperatures that closed all Minnesota public schools Jan. 6. The forecast predicted temperatures as low as -30 degrees, with wind chills of -50 degrees. A statewide school closure had not occurred since 1997.

Denver

Snow: 20 inches

The last big storm to slow down the Mile High City was Dec. 20, 2006. A blizzard bringing more than 20 inches of snow closed schools, government offices, dozens of major highways and the Denver International Airport. Another big storm, in the spring of 2003, brought 31.8 inches of snow, resulting in similar closures.

Indianapolis

Snow: 1 foot

City-county offices closed Jan. 6-7 due to a foot of snow. Mayor Greg Ballard said decisions to close government offices are based on whether it is safe for city employees or others to wait outside for the bus or walk downtown from parking lots, according to The Indianapolis Star.

Cincinnati

As of this week, Cincinnati has seen three times as much snow as is usual for this time of year. But city offices have not closed in at least the past decade, Meg Olberding, spokeswoman for the city manager's office, told The Indianapolis Star. "It's a complicated process to notify everyone. We still have work to do," she said.

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