Cold Keeps Storm-Ravaged South at Standstill

January 11, 2011; 2:25 PM
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Play video For expert analysis on how the snow and ice storm is currently impacting the South, click on this video.

People across the South could be staying put for days following the major snow and ice storm that pummeled the region Sunday into Monday. Power outages will be another long-lived problem for some this week.

Much of the South is not equipped to handle the amount of snow and ice that has accumulated, and many places will just have to wait for melting to occur in the storm's wake. With highs in the 30s forecast for much of the interior Southeast this week, melting may take a while, especially in shaded and north-facing areas.

In addition, where melting does occur, wet roads will refreeze at night if left untreated, creating a new host of travel problems.

According to the Associated Press, at least nine people have been killed in traffic accidents due to the hazardous roads, and South Carolina troopers responded to nearly 2,000 accidents Monday. AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Katie Storbeck has more statistics in her storm summary.

AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, who lived in Atlanta for many years, said, "Major roads [across the South] will be cleared out, but side roads will be a mess for days."

An icy tire track lays along Peachtree Street as the snow begins to turn to ice in the early hours of Monday, Jan. 10, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman). If you have any pictures of the snow or ice in the South, be sure to post them on our AccuWeather.com Facebook page.

More school cancellations could result due to side roads remaining in poor condition.

Communities hit with power outages during the storm may not have it restored for days, as repairing downed power lines can be a daunting and extremely time-consuming task. The cold weather expected across the South this week raises concerns for anyone left without heat.

Cold air is already gripping the region, and a shot of even more frigid air is on the way Wednesday into Thursday. Temperatures could stay below freezing for 48-60 hours in places as far south as Atlanta and Birmingham during this time.

At night, temperatures will dip into the teens across much of Tennessee, Arkansas and northern parts of Mississippi and Alabama starting Tuesday night. The same can be said for the Carolinas Wednesday night through Friday night.

According to wistv.com, The American Red Cross has set up shelters in South Carolina for people affected by the storm.

Southerners hit hardest by the snow and ice early this week will have to wait until the weekend for a warmup that allows for significant melting. Temperatures in Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala., Memphis, Tenn., Columbia, S.C., and Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., are forecast to rise back into the 40s Saturday into Sunday.

The following is a list of reported storm snowfall totals:

-Charlotte, N.C.: 4.0 inches

-Center Star, Ala.: 14.0 inches

-Leighton, Ala.: 10.0 inches

-Colbert Heights, Ala.: 9.5 inches

-Union, S.C.: 5.5 inches

-Athens, Ga.: 6.2 inches

-Asheville, N.C.: 7.0 inches

-Atlanta, Ga.: 4.4 inches

-Baldwyn, Miss.: 10.0 inches

-Iuka, Miss.: 10.0 inches

Freezing rain has been a widespread and perhaps even bigger problem than the snow, affecting areas even right along the Southeast coast, including Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga. In North Charleston, S.C., police were escorting vehicles one by one across an icy bridge Monday morning.

Freezing drizzle affected Atlanta much of Monday, Monday night and Tuesday morning.

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