*(Via NBC News) – Thousands of drivers were hopelessly stuck for a second day Wednesday, many without food and water, on paralyzed interstates around Atlanta after a winter storm appeared to take the city by surprise.
State and local authorities had no estimate for how many people were stuck, but they said jackknifed 18-wheelers were causing a problem on freeways that were still slick with ice. Some people abandoned their cars altogether and walked to warmth and shelter.
Gov. Nathan Deal ordered the National Guard to clear the way for school buses that were carefully delivering schoolchildren back to their homes after thousands of them were marooned overnight. National Guard troops were distributing blankets and 200 cases of military-style MREs, or meals ready to eat, along Interstate 20.
As a winter storm grips the Southern U.S., nearly 2,000 students spent the night in a Georgia school and at least 900 accidents were reported across the state. Six states have declared a state of emergency. The Weather Channel’s Managing Editor Sam Champion reports.
Churches, groceries and home-improvement stores opened their doors to the stranded. Neighbors took in neighbors and strangers. At least one baby was born in a car, helped by a police officer.
Aerial pictures made the highways look like parking lots, and there was no indication of when or how the roads would be cleared. Twenty hours into the jam, one trucker, Joe Schmitz, told NBC News that drivers would probably be stuck for a second night.
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