We reported yesterday on the couple inches of snow that paralyzed the transportation networks of southern cities like Atlanta, which are ill-equipped to handle any measure of snow, and now the results of the chaos are beginning to roll in: 13 people are dead across the region, nine of whom were in traffic accidents.
According to The Detroit Free Press, states of emergency were declared by the governors of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina due to the dangerous weather. Five people in Alabama, two in North Carolina and one person in Florida were killed on the icy roads.
In more positive news, an Atlanta police officer assisted a couple deliver a healthy baby girl after their car was stranded on one of the area's traffic-jammed roads. According to Sandy Springs Police Captain Steve Rose, "He had his emergency lights on and people got out of the way," noting that the officer arrived mere minutes before the baby girl. "The delivery was pretty flawless."
As the weather prepares to warm up for this weekend, though, finger-pointing is already well underway. "Overall, the Atlanta event was a well-forecasted and well-warned event," said Marshall Shepherd, the president of the American Meteorological Society and a meteorologist at the University of Georgia. Today meteorologist Al Roker, meanwhile, placed blame squarely on the politicians in Atlanta, saying the gridlock was due to "poor planning on the mayor and governor's part." Not all meteorologists are pointing fingers, though. "I will say I have never seen this kind of impact on roads with 1 to 2 inches of snow in Alabama in my 35 years as a professional meteorologist. There was clear human suffering as a result of my bad forecast," said James Spann, a forecaster for the local ABC affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama.
Scroll down for a news video from USA Today on the aftermath.