Rare Storm Buries Southern States, Freezes Traffic


Residents from the Gulf Coast to New Jersey are still digging out from a winter storm that paralyzed traffic, stranded drivers, and left at least three people dead.

The snow storm is the second to hit the South in a week. It dumped up to two feet of snow in some areas.

"The thing about driving around in here, is that people down South don't know how to drive in it, you know," Birmingham, Ala., resident Dan Jones said.

The storm stretched a thousand miles, from Alabama to Maryland.

Atlanta only saw two to three inches, but that was enough to throw the Peach City's entire freeway system into gridlock. Some stranded motorists simply ditched their cars and walked home.

Georgia State Patrol responded to more than 950 crashes throughout the state, with at least three fatalities and more than 100 injuries.

"I would advise if you don't have to be out, stay at home," a Georgia State Patrol representative said.

Three to five inches of snow and ice triggered accidents along the interstate in Raleigh, N.C., where the governor declared a state of emergency. 

"It seems like it's icy so I definitely didn't want to swerve. So then I stopped and the person behind me ran right into me," accident victim Christina Kisner said.

The weather is being blamed for hundreds of accidents. Just outside Asheville, N.C., a school bus flipped over on the icy roads. One student required hospital attention following the accident.

"Real scary. I mean, 'cause the whole bus tipped over and I was sittin' in the seat on the other side and kind of flew to the other side," Michael Waycaster, one of the students, said.

The bitter cold and snow have forced schools across the South to cancel Wednesday classes.

In Birmingham, Ala., teachers and students at one elementary school are waking up in their classrooms because the roads were simply too dangerous for buses or parents to get them home Tuesday.

"If you trust your teacher to take care of your child during the day, they will be taken care of tonight," Gov. Robert Bentley said.

Overnight snow created some pretty scenes in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach area, but the high snow totals closed schools, businesses, and military activities.

Air travelers had their woes as well. Several thousand more flights were cancelled this week, adding to the thousands of other flights scrubbed in the January wave of polar blasts.

One Virginia man may have summed it up best.

"I hope this is over with soon," he said. "I've had enough winter."

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