Winter storm causes wrecks, gridlock in the South

ATLANTA - Downtown Atlanta remains largely shut down, a day after a rare winter storm stranded workers at their jobs and students at their schools.
 
Most Atlanta businesses are closed, and officials are encouraging motorists to stay off the roads. City buses haven't been running. Along a dozen lanes of the Downtown Connector shortly before dawn, a sea of red brake lights remained at a standstill.
 
The storm deposited just inches of snow, but it was more than enough to paralyze southern cities such as Atlanta and Birmingham. Overnight, there were fatal crashes and hundreds of fender-benders. Jackknifed 18-wheelers littered Interstate 65 in central Alabama.
 
Some commuters pleaded for help on their cellphones while still holed up in their cars. Others walked miles to get home, abandoning their vehicles. One woman spent 12 hours stuck in her car near Birmingham before a firefighter used a ladder to help her cross the median wall. A shuttle bus took her to a hotel where about 20 other stranded motorists spent the night in a conference room. Linda Moore said she was glad she didn't have to spend the night on the highway, but she says others did.
 
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said the National Guard was sending military Humvees onto the Atlanta's snarled freeways this morning to try to move stranded school buses and deliver food and water. State Patrol troopers headed to schools where children spent the night.

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