Snow Storms Hit the South

A rare winter storm swept across most of the Deep South yesterday, turning roads into sheets of ice, dropping several inches of snow in places, snarling highways, and causing at least five deaths. Unaccustomed to the weather, drivers slid into ditches, abandoned vehicles on highways, and became trapped in miles-long traffic jams for many hours. The National Guard was out, extracting stranded motorists and transporting them to shelters - thousands remain trapped on Interstates around Atlanta today. [33 photos total]

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1
A truck driver slides off the highway in icy weather, as he tries to avoid another wrecked truck on I-65, in Clanton, Alabama, on January 28, 2014. Overnight, the South saw fatal crashes and hundreds of fender-benders. Jackknifed 18-wheelers littered Interstate 65 in central Alabama. Ice shut down bridges on Florida's panhandle and the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, one of the world's longest spans, in Louisiana. Some commuters pleaded for help via cellphones while still holed up in their cars, while others trudged miles home, abandoning their vehicles outright. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) #
2
Icicles hang off a camellia bush in historic Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia, after freezing rain hit the area, on January 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) #
3
In this aerial photo, traffic is snarled along the I-285 perimeter north of the metro area after a winter snow storm in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 29, 2014. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said early Wednesday that the National Guard was sending military Humvees onto Atlanta's snarled freeway system in an attempt to move stranded school buses and get food and water to people. Georgia State Patrol troopers headed to schools where children were hunkered down early Wednesday after spending the night there, and transportation crews continued to treat roads and bring gas to motorists, Deal said. (AP Photo/David Tulis) #
4
A driver uses a mobile phone in a car after running off the roadway due to a snow storm in Atlanta, on January 29, 2014. (Reuters/Tami Chappell) #
5
People rest in the aisles of a Publix grocery store after being stranded due to a snow storm in Atlanta, on January 29, 2014. (Reuters/Tami Chappell) #
6
Karen Wang sleeps in the aisle of a Publix grocery store after being stranded due to a snow storm in Atlanta, on January 29, 2014. (Reuters/Tami Chappell) #
7
A water fountain is covered in ice on 14th street in Atlanta, on January 23, 2014. (AP Photo/David Goldman) #
8
In this view looking south toward downtown Atlanta, the ice-covered interstate system is empty on a Wednesday morning, after a winter snow storm slammed the city with over 2 inches of snow that turned highways into parking lots when motorists abandoned their vehicles creating massive traffic jams lasting through January 29, 2014. (AP Photo/David Tulis) #
9
Brookhaven police monitor a car fire in a vehicle left overnight by a motorist who was stranded by impassable roads after winter weather moved through Georgia, on January 29, 2014, in Brookhaven, Georgia. (AP Photo/John Amis) #
10
Claire Woolsey, a Belhaven University student from Ireland, holds onto Serenity Aguilar, 4, as they use a trash bag as a body board to slide down the hills that surround the soccer fields at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, on January 28, 2014. Students used trash bags, cardboard, storage covers and stripped down skateboards to try to "surf" the hills. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) #
11
Traffic moves south on I-75 past a hill covered with ice in Covington, Kentucky, on January 29, 2014, where temperatures remain in single digits. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) #
12
B.B. St. Roman, executive director of the New Orleans Police Department Homeless Assistance Unit, assists a man to a shelter in New Orleans, on January 28, 2014. The third and nastiest arctic blast of the season hit Louisiana on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) #
13
Officer Delaney talks with a crash victim who was involved in a five-car pileup on Johnson Ferry Road in Sandy Springs, Georgia, early morning Wednesday, January 29, 2014. Around Atlanta, nearly all public entities and most businesses were shut down early Wednesday, and officials encouraged would-be motorists not to drive. (AP Photo/Branden Camp) #
14
In this view looking south toward downtown Atlanta near the I-75 Chattahoochee River overpass, abandoned cars are piled up on the median of the ice-covered interstate after a winter snow storm slammed the city with over 2 inches of snow that turned highways into parking lots creating massive traffic jams lasting through Wednesday, January 29, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Tulis) #
15
Traffic at a standstill on Interstate 65 northbound as officials work to clear abandoned vehicles in Hoover, Alabama, on January 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager) #
16
Kevin Moore hands out snacks and water to stranded motorists on Interstate 285 in Dunwoody, Georgia, on January 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Branden Camp) #
17
Virginia Welch (left) Caroline Callahan (center), and Caroline Hurry enjoy sledding on the ice-covered street in Indian Springs, Alabama, on January 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) #
18
An icicle drips as a bundled up pedestrian passes by in downtown San Antonio, Texas, on January 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) #
19
Snowmen line the trunk of a car as cold weather descends on Mobile, Alabama, on January 29, 2014. (Reuters/Lyle Ratliff) #
20
Tristen Daniel and Kayla Morris from Daphne slide down a hill at Wake Forest golf club in Robertsdale, Alabama, on January 29, 2014. A rare winter storm gripped the U.S. South on Wednesday, killing five people, stranding children overnight at their schools, gnarling traffic across many states and cancelling flights at the world's busiest airport. At least five deaths in Alabama were blamed on the icy storm that slammed the region from Texas through Georgia and the Carolinas. (Michael Chang/Getty Images) #
21
Good Samaritan Sammy Rouchdi pushes stranded motorist Cameron Scheeler up an iced over hill on Womack Road after he became stuck on the ice trying to get home on Jan. 28 in Dunwoody, Ga. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal & Constitution via Associated Press) #
22
A band of snow and freezing rain is pictured over the southeastern United States, stretching from Texas through Georgia and into the Carolinas, in this Jan. 29 handout satellite image provided by NASA. The rare winter storm killed at least six people, stranded children in their schools overnight and paralyzed travel in several states, including hundreds of flight cancellations at the world's busiest airport. (NASA via Reuters) #
23
Traffic sits at a standstill on the downtown Interstate 75-85 as dawn breaks in the aftermath of a winter storm in unprepared Atlanta, Ga., on January 29. Thousands of commuters and students were unable to reach their homes in the aftermath of the storm. (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal Constitution via EPA) #
24
Snowflakes cling to nine-year-old Tamya Hardy's eyelashes as she plays in the snow with friends on Jan. 28 in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Lauren Carroll/Winston-Salem Journal via Associated Press) #
25
Highway 90 is closed due to ice on the roads on Jan. 29 in Daphne, Ala. A rare winter storm has brought ice and snow across the southern states closing schools and stranding motorists. (Michael Chang/Getty Images) #
26
Dozens of motorists become stranded on Womack Road as dropping temperatures turn the hill into a sheet of ice on Jan. 28 in Dunwoody, Ga. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says that he will send troopers to schools where students are stranded because they could not make it home on clogged roads caused by the rare snowstorm. The governor spoke from the Capitol building Tuesday night. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via Associated Press) #
27
With a winter storm making its way over southeast Virginia late Jan. 28, Sean Cantrell, center, and his wife Megan Cantrell venture out onto the snowy Virginia Beach oceanfront for a look with there dog Griffin. (L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot via Associated Press) #
28
Darlene Villalba, 6, works to get her purple gloves on as snow falls in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Jan. 28. (Lauren Carroll/Winston-Salem Journal via Associated Press) #
29
A lone car travels on the downtown Interstate 75-85 in Atlanta on Jan. 29 after a winter storm hit Georgia. Thousands of commuters and students were unable to reach their homes in the aftermath of the storm. (Erik S. Lesser/EPA) #
30
As a group of his friends watch, Aaron Whitaker, right, falls while trying to slide down the hill while standing up on a piece of cardboard at Renaissance Park on Jan. 28 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Snowfall was greater than expected and blanketed the ground all over the city. (C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press via Associated Press) #
31
Kimberly Villalba, 9, reacts after getting hit with a snowball as she plays with her friends in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Jan. 28. (Lauren Carroll/Winston-Salem Journal via Associated Press) #
32
Traffic moves south on Interstate 75 past a hill covered with ice on Jan. 29 in Covington, Ky., where temperatures remain in single digits. Actual temperatures will range from the teens in northern Kentucky to double-digits below zero in Minnesota, but even colder wind chills were expected, minus 43 in Minneapolis; minus 18 in Dayton, Ohio; minus 14 in Kansas City, Mo.; and minus 3 in Louisville, Ky. (Al Behrman/Associated Press) #
33
John Fitzgerald, a lineman for Dominion Power, uses cross-country skis on Hanbury Road in Chesapeake, Va. to get to work on Jan. 29. The National Weather Service says the Norfolk area averages fewer than three days of snow each winter that result in at least an inch of accumulation. Wednesday marks the fourth day in less than two weeks that at least an inch of snow has fallen. (Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot via Associated Press) #

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