Snowy, icy, windy conditions rarely seen in Dixieland blew semis off roads, stranded commuters and schoolkids, and sent Southerners from Tuscaloosa to Tallahassee to Biloxi to Brunswick scurrying to hunker down for a cold, confusing Wednesday.
Even the cardinals in Decatur, Georgia, looked out of sorts Tuesday, wondering what the hell was going on with the cold monolith of arctic air dumping crystallized moisture on their winter refuge.
Roads iced over quickly and heavily in Mississippi, where Gov. Phil Bryant closed state offices Tuesday.
Traffic outside major cities like Jackson snarled quickly.
Alabama motorists fared little better.
Georgia was entirely screwed, with snow shutting Atlanta down.
Traffic around the city came to a halt. Flights to and from many hubs, including Atlanta/Hartsfield International Airport, were scrubbed.
More than 300 passengers were stranded at the Greyhound terminal in Atlanta and ultimately needed "sandwiches, blankets and bottled water from a nearby jail," according to the AP.
Georgia's governor declared a state of emergency, and residents made runs on stores for sundries as the snow came.
Snow, ice and sleet gave way to flooding in some parts of the state, further jamming the roads. In Cherokee County, authorities had to cancel school bus routes and were preparing to shelter stranded students in their schools overnight. "[I]t isn't prudent to continue to put students on buses at this time," a schools spokeswoman said. [Photo: 11Alive.com.]
The rough conditions were expected to continue over the South overnight and through midday Wednesday, with freezing conditions and the possibility of snow in Florida.
[Photo credits: AP, unless otherwise noted]