South Crippled By Winter Freeze
A rare snowstorm paralyzed the South and an army of citizen reporters recorded the chaos.
Cell phone video captured a chain-reaction pileup on I-75 outside Atlanta. It showed dozens of cars and trucks after they skidded on the ice-covered highway and slammed into each other, leading to an unbelievable scene of wreck after wreck.
Traffic in Atlanta was brought to a standstill by a mere two inches of snow, and stranded drivers recorded the entire mess.
One driver posted a video after being stuck for 18 hours. He said, "It is now 7:30 in the morning. So, 18 hours later, it is nothing. The highway is a complete standstill."
One woman rode out the gridlock by sleeping in her car overnight. She said, "I am in a gas station parking lot. It is perfect because I have got gas, I have got food, I got coffee, and I got a bathroom."
Many people simply abandoned their cars and walked away. Some people wound up sleeping in the aisle of a CVS drug store and posted a photo on Twitter. Some folks warmed themselves at a Home Depot and camped out for the night.
More than 8,000 students in Georgia and Alabama couldn't make it home. A teacher at an elementary school in Alabama recorded students sleeping in their classroom.
One mom was finally reunited with her daughter. A reporter asked the mom, "How long have you been trying to get to your daughter?"
She replied, "About 24 hours."
The storm also played havoc with reporters who had to resort to desperate measures. ABC’s Matt Gutman had to use his iPhone to report the story saying, "Hundreds of miles of highway basically turned into ice."
A reporter in Austin, Texas was broadcasting live when a car skidded into a highway divider.
The Today show's Al Roker was outraged that Georgia state officials blamed weather forecasters for not predicting the storm that swept the South.
Roker said, "That is not true. We were talking about this on Monday that this was going to happen."