ATLANTA (AP) — Students spent the night on buses or at schools, commuters abandoned their cars or idled in them all night and the highways-turned-parking lots iced over when a winter storm slammed the city, creating a treacherous traffic jam that lasted into today.
It wasn't clear exactly how many people were still stranded out on the roads nearly 24 hours after the storm slammed the Deep South on Tuesday. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said it was "a lot of people," and officials were working to get them food, water, gas and eventually a way home.
The timing of when things would clear was also uncertain because temperatures were not expected to be above freezing for very long, meaning the roads may not have a chance to thaw.
"I'm not thinking about a grade right now," Reed said when asked about the city's response. "I'm thinking about getting people out of their cars."
The rare snowstorm deposited mere inches of snow, and yet it was more than enough to paralyze Deep South cities such as Atlanta and Birmingham, and strand thousands of workers who tried to rush home early only to never make it home at all.