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Traffic is at a standstill on Interstate 65 northbound as officials work to clear abandoned vehicles Wednesday, Jan. 29,  2014 in Hoover,  Ala.  Overnight, the South saw fatal crashes and hundreds of fender-benders.

Officials worked through the night to clear abandoned vehicles from Interstate 65 in Hoover, Alabama.


Angie McPherson

National Geographic

Published January 29, 2014

Hold on to your hats! A rare snow blanketed many states in the Deep South on Tuesday.

Residents from Houston to Washington, D.C., have been impacted by the storm, with some states still shoveling away around three inches of snowfall.

The snow has caused significant traffic delays, canceled classes, closed offices, and disrupted flights.

Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina even issued states of emergency.

While disruptive, the January snow settled beautifully on the picturesque American countryside. Here are a few of the best photos selected by our photo editors.

Stay in School

Gavin Chambers plays an electronic game at Oak Mountain Intermediate school on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Indian Springs, Ala. About 80 children  and 20 adults spent the night at the school due to a winter storm.

Gavin Chambers, a student at Oak Mountain Intermediate School, played a video game on the floor of his classroom in Indian Springs, Alabama.

These students didn't stay after to study, but they did bond. About 80 children and 20 adults spent the night at the school.


In this aerial photo, abandoned cars at I-75 headed northbound near the Chattahoochee River overpass are piled up in the median of the ice-covered interstate after a winter snow storm , Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Atlanta.

This aerial photo of abandoned cars may look like a scene from The Walking Dead, but this photo isn't staged. It was taken on Interstate 75 outside Atlanta, Georgia.

Some cars were still tied up in gridlock on Wednesday.

Sleep Shopping

Kienan Dietrich sleeps at the aisle of a Publix grocery store after being stranded due to a snow storm in Atlanta, Georgia, January 29, 2014.

Kienan Dietrich slept in the aisle of a grocery store in Atlanta, Georgia. At least he had access to plenty of food and water.

Snow caused backups on many roads, stranding residents on the highway, in schools, and even in local stores.

Out for a Walk

With a winter storm making its way over southeast Virginia late Jan. 28, 2014, Sean Cantrell, center, and his wife Megan Cantrell venture out onto the snowy Virginia Beach oceanfront for a look with there dog Griffin.

Sean Cantrell and his wife Megan Cantrell went for a walk in Virginia Beach. Their dog, Griffin, seemed to enjoy the snow more than they did.

Digging It Out

Mississippi Department of Transportation workers Walter Morgan, Sr., left, Barrett Pickett, center, and Danny McKenzie shovel sand onto the Interstate 55 bridge at exit 18, Tuesday, January 28 in McComb, Miss.

Walter Morgan, Sr.; Barrett Pickett; and Danny McKenzie shoveled sand onto the Interstate 55 bridge in McComb, Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation is still working hard to get people back on the roads.

Strolling Along

Residents in the Historic Oakwood neighborhood cross Lane Street on Wednesday morning January 29, 2014 in Raleigh, N.C. after a winter storm dropped several inches of snow, canceling school and offering residents a chance to enjoy a winter holiday.

Residents in the historic Oakwood neighborhood chose to walk to the store in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Many schools and day-care centers were closed on Wednesday due to the snow.

Snowy Forest

On the Wild & Scenic Chattooga River in northeast Georgia's Rabun County. A far cry from the snowy mayhem in Atlanta, 90 minutes away.

The Chattooga River in northeast Georgia is a far cry from the snowy mayhem in Atlanta, just 90 minutes away.

Standing in Awe

A University of Alabama student stands in awe of the snow brought on by winterstorm Leon.

This photo of a University of Alabama student was submitted to the National Geographic Your Shot community.

How's the weather where you are? Contribute your photo to Your Shot using #snow.

Follow Angie McPherson on Twitter.

Stace Finesmith
Stace Finesmith

I would like to point out that Oak Mountain Intermediate School is located in Indian Springs, Alabama.

Chanda, keep in mind that the cities in the south are ill equipped to handle snow. Most of these hilly roads were never sanded or otherwise treated to help drivers. Along with the warmer ground temps, that melt the snow just enough to turn it to ice, Most people have no experience driving in snowy weather and don't have the right tires to make things easier. Even driving slowly won't help if there's zero traction.

Chanda Russell
Chanda Russell

I find it so hard to believe that a few inches of snow can cause such a disaster.  Granted I do live in Canada but I have never put winter tires on and we get no less than several FEET of snow a year. How hard is it just to slow down a bit? I just don't get it. I know they are not used to it but honestly, does common sense not exist anymore.

LM Bowland
LM Bowland

If global warming keeps up this see-saw of weather conditions, we'll be seeing people in the warmer climes of North America investing in snow-tires, Canadian drivers' secret weapon against Winter.

Norma del Caso
Norma del Caso

I like the picture of the river.

My best favorite is the last one; pure joy and awe!!! Love it. Hopefully there is an award.

Marques Hayes
Marques Hayes

The very last one was my favorite. I have a few I've submitted. I'm still submitting pics.

Tonya Jackson
Tonya Jackson

Awesome pics.It looks to me that there isnt that much snow for all of those traffic jams and such.Then again im from Pa so we are use to tons of snow. Glad that they chose the best route for their own safety regardless of how much snow fell.

Susan Mullinax
Susan Mullinax

If you look at the pictures you will see that they were traveling at a crawl. You need to investigate why it is different when it snows in the south before YA'LL start calling us idiots. Hope you have a blessed weekend. May God Bless and keep you and yours safe.


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