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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 56 Comments
      Spartanator
      • 10 Months Ago
      This is a classic case where it's just safer to stay at home and wait it out. Everyone thinks they're an expert driver in bad weather for some reason. There's no reason that many cars should on the road when the roads are glazed with ice. Businesses a lot of times aren't even open for the same reason, so why risk it?
        Cayman
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Spartanator
        Because some people have to go to work.
      atomicbri2005
      • 10 Months Ago
      I live in Atlanta and I knew from the forecast to NOT go to work because I had a feeling it was gonna be a traffic nightmare. For those people that don't live here, every one drives to work and I mean EVERY ONE! So imagine if you will, it is 1:30, it has already been snowing for 2 hrs now (started around 11:30) and suddenly the state decides to close count and government work. At the SAME TIME they let school out so many private businesses said they will also close so people can get their kids. So from 1:00-2:00P about 1 million cars get on the roads during a snow shower at the same time! It was a recipe for disaster from the get go. It wasn't that drivers were that bad, it was if one car messed up, it was done for and that's exactly what happens when 2 cars wreck on 4 highways thru the city when 1-2 million cars tried to leave out all at once! So yeah next time they need to take heed and salt early and stop trying to be cheapskates and not want to pay if for some reason it doesn't snow....
      MPLS612
      • 10 Months Ago
      Being from Mpls, MN we are used to these type of condition. It happens every late fall and early spring. Gets warm, snow melts and then cold and everything turns to ice on the roads. Most midwestern states have the tools(plows, salt, chemicals) to clear and de-ice the roads. Southern states do not have the amount of these tools to get the job done. Mostly because they are not needed on a yearly basis. This does not make the people stupid as I saw in a comment below. They are not prepared for this type of situation. Now I laughed when I first saw the chaos this was causing, just because I've lived in this stuff my whole life. But people are being killed because of this and this is no laughing matter. For those of you who post here from any of the states effected by this, I hope you are safe.
      SloopJohnB
      • 10 Months Ago
      This is persistently called a snowstorm when in fact the problem appears to be ice.
      mitytitywhitey
      • 10 Months Ago
      Still think not enough is being done to promote telecommuting. Instead of pushing people into electric cars, how about the government gives more tax breaks to companies that allow people to avoid driving, period. That's about as carbon-free as the roads can get. And has the added benefit of reducing road fatalities.
        Ducman69
        • 10 Months Ago
        @mitytitywhitey
        Thank you! And the government tried, at least here in Houston and they had an excellent argument. Either: 1) We spend a crapload more money to upgrade our transit infrastructure to reduce rush-hour traffic. 2) We encourage Houston to become a 24x7 city, which is great for international business, by providing business incentives for hiring night employees, work at home programs, and four-day work weeks. The latter seemed much smarter, but they did the former instead, so you have times when the roads are virtually empty, and others where you move at 5mph.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 10 Months Ago
        @mitytitywhitey
        Amen to that. The technology exists. And most of my meetings at work are teleconferences anyways.
      Bernard
      • 10 Months Ago
      If you can't handle ice don't drive on it. No one should be dying because of 2 inches of snow. I don't care if it "never snows" there, you have to be smarter than the weather.
      eye.surgeon
      • 10 Months Ago
      Respectfully I would point out that people die in car accidents every day in these states even in perfect weather and assigning blame is not quite so cut-and-dry as saying that every fatality was due to this weather system.
      kontroll
      • 10 Months Ago
      southern hicks who don't know how to drive their toyotas
      ihyln
      • 10 Months Ago
      At least the south is #1 at something - being stupid at everything.
      knightrider_6
      • 10 Months Ago
      It's a message from God... bless his heart.
      Mike Kilpatrick
      • 10 Months Ago
      As any southern politician will tell you, it's their own fail. No one told these people to go outside. Individual responsibility is what's needed here! Dig your own damned self out!
        voodoo1voodoo1
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Mike Kilpatrick
        Dig out of what? As an Atlanta resident there was nothing to dig out of that morning, the problem was that snow began to fall around lunchtime, and EVERYONE decided to get on the road to drive home. This created rush hour traffic at 2 in the afternoon. As cars sat on the freeway temps dropped and snow collected. Most Atlanta drivers have no idea how to drive in inclement conditions, that in combination with the massive overload on the roadways is what caused people to spend the night in their vehicles or abandon them and walk home.
          engr00
          • 10 Months Ago
          @voodoo1voodoo1
          It was forecasted days in advance
          icemilkcoffee
          • 10 Months Ago
          @voodoo1voodoo1
          I think the schools announced their closure in the middle of the day, and people had no choice but to drive to pick their kids up.
          Dixon Ticonderoga
          • 10 Months Ago
          @voodoo1voodoo1
          Icemilkcoffee nailed it. Only a handful of schools and businesses closed before midday. I went to lunch and came back to have people telling me we were closing in five minutes. If the normal shut down the region at a hint of snow had happened we wouldn't be discussing this. even if there had need staggered releases. But it was just a giant, 2pm traffic jam.
          Paul Mezhir
          • 10 Months Ago
          @voodoo1voodoo1
          if you know anything about snow and ice and road conditions, you would realize that heavily trafficked roads that are literally covered with vehicles do not accumulate enough frozen precipitation to warrant conditions any worse than a rainstorm. Three inches is not a lot of accumulation.
          toddy143
          • 10 Months Ago
          @voodoo1voodoo1
          You're right, 3 inches isn't much at all. The issue is that no one was moving on the roads, vehicles remained in place, snow collected, perhaps a bit melted but was turned to ice as the temps dropped. Exact same thing happened to me a couple of years ago in... SAN ANTONIO, it can happen anywhere.
      josephslow
      • 10 Months Ago
      I don't think people on I-75 through Detroit even consider obeying the speed limit until there is about 3" of snow on the road......It's nuts up here sometimes. It's hard to comprehend this kind of pandemonium as a result of 3" of snow.
        churchmotor
        • 10 Months Ago
        @josephslow
        Detroit is FLAT. Atlanta is very hilly, and it was ICE, not snow.
          churchmotor
          • 10 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          focussvt943, what's your excuse for bringing up the upper Peninsula of Michigan? Josephslow was comparing Detroit to Atlanta, and I replied. Now you are diverting to yet another random example?
          • 10 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          [blocked]
          churchmotor
          • 10 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          The UP has what, 12 people living in that huge wasteland?
          • 10 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          [blocked]
          josephslow
          • 10 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          Following your logic, people in Colorado, Pennsylvania, WV, Oregon, or any other non FLAT "hilly" state should fall right off the road when there even a trace amount of ICE on the road.
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