Many Georgia drivers opted to walk home during yesterday’s snow and ice storm rather than stay stranded in their cars. However, many children at school and on school buses did not have that option. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency and sent the National Guard to deliver food and water to stranded travelers. More than 1000 flights have been cancelled at Hartsfield Airport. As many traffic accidents were reported in Georgia due to the storm.
Multi-vehicle accidents occurred across the South throughout the day and night. Carolyn Carlock Tucker from Ringgold, Georgia, opted to park her car at Graysville Elementary School and walk down the snowy road and up through woods and snowy hills to get home. Her normal 20-minute commute took her six and one-half hours. Once she started walking, she made it in a little under an hour. “It wasn’t that bad cutting through the woods until I came to places where there was no path and I had to bend down to get under branches and find places to step,” Tucker recalls.
Chattanooga, TN residents didn’t fare much better. Ice and snow conditions caused many multi-vehicle accidents, including a 17-car pile-up in Cleveland, TN. A group of 17 students from Ivy Academy at Soddy-Daisy were on their way to Camp Wesley Woods in Townsend for their field trip to the Great Smoky Mountains Science Center. Their vans became stuck on the snowy road outside Gatlinburg. They managed to get their vehicles out and onto the Historic Nature Trail Road and drove back to Gatlinburg. Even though Glenstone Lodge was closed for the season, the students were welcomed to stay for food and shelter.
Dangerous driving conditions still prevail across the South, as schools and businesses as far south as Florida are closed. Highway transportation crews reported for work early this morning and many businesses opened with delays. There are still people stranded on the highways. However, the general consensus is: If you don’t have to be out on the roads, stay home.