Ice and Snow Pummel The South. Again.

From Texas to the Carolinas, a historic winter storm has slammed into the southern states. Highways are a nightmare, roads are impassable, and power lines are snapping. Power outages are widespread, and it may take a week or longer to restore power. Hundreds of injuries and 9 deaths so far are being blamed on the weather. Officials everywhere are urging people to stay off the roads, and stay home.

ALABAMA- Emergency management officials in central Alabama have issued a Civil Emergency. Under this status, no one except police, fire, and first responders may be out on the roads unless it is a matter of life or death. Several inches of snow has already fallen on top of packed sleet and ice. As much as 6 inches of snow may fall in the Birmingham area by morning. davidhildebrand Photo: David Hildebrand

GEORGIA- Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, the city of Atlanta is closed on Thursday except for essential personnel. President Obama has declared a state of emergency in the state, the National Guard has been called in. Federal agencies will be sending additional salt and sand to boost the depleted supplies in many counties. Ice accumulations are nearing an inch in some areas, causing power lines to snap from the weight of the ice. Hundreds of thousands of people may be without power for days.

kellymwaterfield Photo: Kelly M. Waterfield

CAROLINAS- Rush hour commuters found themselves at a crawl or complete standstill on the highways due to the deteriorating  road conditions. Across the state, snow and ice covered roadways were the catalyst for numerous accidents, including several multiple car pileups that closed some roads. Abandoned vehicles are littering the highways. Nearly a quarter of a million people in South Carolina find themselves in the dark tonight, with that number expected to rise over the next 24 hours. Some parts of North Carolina may see as much as 10 inches of snow by morning.

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