American South paralyzed by winter storm

Icy road littered with vehicles near Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 28 Jan 2014 (AP)

Icy road littered with vehicles near Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 28 Jan 2014 (AP)

All modes of travel were halted over the American South yesterday from Texas to North Carolina thanks to a winter storm that dumped freezing rain and snow on the region.

Although most areas received less than 10 cm of snow, the region is not used to wintry weather and some cities don’t even have snow plows or salt trucks.

At least five states declared emergencies when motorists were left stranded in their vehicles, students were forced to stay in schools overnight and many others sought shelter in churches and even grocery stores.

Icy highways led to hundreds of collisions, many involving tractor trailers which jack-knifed and blocked traffic.

The same system is impacting the Maritimes today with less than 5 cm of snow expected in New Brunswick and higher amounts near the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia.

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