PHOTOS: Chaos Unfolds Amid Rare Winter Storm in South

By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
January 31, 2014; 4:01 AM ET
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Freezing rain, sleet and snow made their way across the South Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing chaos to a region that rarely experiences extreme winter conditions.

The storm caused treacherous travel across multiple states, including Georgia, where its capital city faced hours of gridlocked traffic into the early morning hours Wednesday.

Across Louisiana Tuesday afternoon, emergency managers in several parishes were reporting frozen-over bridges and roadways and several closed interstates.

Late on Tuesday, thousands of flights had already been cancelled at airports across the South, including George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Ahead of the winter weather, Louisiana's governor declared a state of emergency for the state due to the dangerous winter conditions. Additionally, all government offices and public schools were ordered to close in the state on Tuesday.

States of emergency were also declared in Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The wintry weather expanded eastward across Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic coast through Tuesday night.

Slick conditions stretched down the I-10 and I-95 corridors, leaving many motorists stranded. Pictures surfaced Wednesday across social media of many who retreated from their cars to grocery and convenience stores to spend the night.

Many schools are now off for the second consecutive day in locations across the South, including Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Ala., and others.

RELATED:
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People work to clear stranded vehicles on County Road 25, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Wilsonville, Ala. A winter storm that would probably be no big deal in the North all but paralyzed the Deep South on Tuesday, bringing snow, ice and teeth-chattering cold, with temperatures in the teens in some places.(AP Photo/Hal Yeager)

Snow blankets a yard in Meridian, Miss., on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (Twitter Photo/@sdcmgs).

Snow set a wintry scene across Cape Cod on Tuesday. (Instagram Photo/Abbyrfield)

Cars struggle in the snow along Riverchase Parkway outside Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (Photo/Melissa Murner)

It's a wintry scene in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, after an atypical winter snowstorm swept through the area. (Twitter Photo/@Lcomarde)

Houston, Texas, residents get the chance to build snowmen on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (Instagram Photo/Katherine Rodriguez)

Icicles hang from palm tree branches in Orange Beach, Ala., on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (Photo/City of Orange Beach)

While there was still not much snow in Montgomery, Ala., as of Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 28, 2014, ice had already formed across the city. (Photo/Julie Bennett and AL.com)

It's an unordinary site along the Gulf Shores, Ala., on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, as icicles adorn a beach traffic sign. (Twitter Photo/@terri11971)

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