Parts of Southeast digging out from snow

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013 9:22 am

ATLANTA (AP) -- Parts of the Southeast were digging out Friday from a winter storm that dumped snow around the region and played a role in at least one death.

In central Alabama, hundreds of people spent a cold night trapped on Interstate 65 in Cullman County after snow caused a series of wrecks that snarled traffic for miles.

Hundreds of cars and 18-wheelers were at a standstill on the highway early Friday, County emergency management director Phyllis Little said.

The backup began Thursday afternoon as a winter storm blanketed the area with as much as 4 inches of snow. Little said 120 motorists made it to a shelter in Cullman, but many more couldn't.

Officials hoped rising temperatures would thaw the snow and ice and get traffic moving sometime Friday.

In Virginia, the areas hardest hit Thursday and Friday were in the southwest, where the National Weather Service says 13 inches were reported in Giles County, while Grayson County and the Galax area received about a foot.

Road crews in that part of the state were out in force early Friday to plow and treat roads. Hardest hit was Interstate 77. The highway still had snow cover and there were reports of disabled vehicles along the roadway.

While the winter storm wasn't as severe as initially feared, icy roads remained a concern Friday morning and some school systems decided to open late.

Parts of Mississippi saw 2 to 4 inches of snow on the ground Thursday. In Lowndes County, Highway Patrol spokesman Cpl. Criss Turnipseed said Johnnie A. Matthews, 64, of West Point died when his car collided with a downed tree about 5 a.m. on Mississippi Highway 50.

Turnipseed says the large pine tree in the roadway appeared to have been uprooted by wind and ground saturation due to excessive rainfall. The winter blitz follows days of heavy rain across much of the Southeast.

No other fatalities were reported but thousands lost power.

Virginia State Police say they were swamped with calls at the height of the storm. Dispatchers fielded more than 760 calls reporting crashes and disabled vehicles.

In Bland County, Virginia, heavy snow, downed trees, disabled vehicles and numerous crashes partially closed I-77, said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller. Traffic was moving slowly Thursday night and Geller said officials would work through the night to reopen all lanes.

In Alabama, scores of schools, businesses and government offices as far south as metro Birmingham pushed back their opening times for Friday because of the threat of icy roads after freezing temperatures overnight.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

Right Now

weather

Today

weather
76°
Details

Tomorrow

weather
79°
Details

Today

weather
79°
Details

Today

weather
73°
Details

SUBMIT PHOTOS & VIDEOS | VIEW ALL PHOTOS & VIDEOS

Send your photos & videos to Pix@MySuncoast.com and you could be featured on ABC 7 & our website.