While the strongest impact from the winter storm still bearing down on the Midwest came on Monday and Tuesday, the region is still facing icy conditions, dangerous wind chills and deep freeze warnings. Those who have ventured out report seeing cars abandoned along the roads, flipped over or wrecked.
Other problems are facing these people who are in no way used to conditions like those they are experiencing. Single mothers are calling in in hopes to not lose their jobs, some are having to leave school age children at home alone to try to make ends meet and others have to worry about an unsafe commute in order to avoid the alternatives.
Weather.com meteorologist, Chris Dolce, has predicted, "Dangerously cold temperatures will continue in the Midwest for the start of the work week with wind chills in the -20s, -30s and -40s; In Chicago, the low temperature Tuesday morning will rival the coldest reading we saw in early January. Some cities will threaten daily record lows on Tuesday morning."
In the Deep South rescue efforts are underway for thousands of stranded school children and hundreds of stranded motorist. These are people who have been stranded since yesterday. Facebook pages were in place for many of the students and stranded motorists as well.
Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta "a lot of people" are still stranded in their cars on the highways nearly 24 hours the storm slammed the city." The exact numbers of those stranded is still uncertain.
In Georgia the Governor stated that the State Highway Patrol is executing troopers to the many schools where children were stuck overnight. They are trying to bring gas to motorists and treat the roads. Just before dawn there was a "sea of brake lights" standing still on the downtown connector in gridlock or hardly moving.
The South for the most part has been paralyzed by this winter storm, and it is hanging around linger than it was originally anticipated to. States of Emergency have been extended until further notice. Many roads are closed all together, and people are being told to stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to travel.
Several counties, states and perishes have even put curfews on citizens for their safety leaving the streets open to emergency personal only. Governments have been shut down, and many businesses have also closed their doors.
Atlanta gridlock was so bad that an officer barely made it in time to help with the delivery of a baby girl alongside Interstate 285. Fortunately, there were no complications and the family was transported to a hospital afterwards.
Those who did make it home say that a normally 10 minute commute takes an estimated 5 hours to complete.
Transportation officials are saying that, "Clean-up efforts continue on metro Atlanta freeways and other roads in north and central Georgia and significant progress is being made."
It is anticipated that temperatures will rise above freezing on Wednesday, but that is not expected to stay above freezing. The truth is that no one really knows what to expect in the coming hours, but by noon on Thursday things are hopefully going to begin to thaw. Hard freeze warnings are in effect until 10 AM Thursday morning in many places.
People living on the Gulf Shores of Mississippi describe seeing "icicles hung from palm trees." A fire in Mississippi took the lives of 4 family members using a space heater to try and stay warm when temperatures dropped below freezing. People in this part of the country are in no way prepared for these types of conditions. Many do not even know how to prepare for or react to this type of weather phenomenon.
Florida's alligators are burrowing in the mud to keep from freezing.
Fatal crashes are being reported all across the South in connection with the winter storm. I-65 is littered with abandoned vehicles, 18 wheelers that are jackknifed and car wrecks. Many bridges are shut down because they are iced over.
By 9 p.m. Tuesday the Georgia State Highway Patrol had responded to more than 940 winter related crashes across the state. In that came 1 fatality and more than 100 injuries were reported.
North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama are all under a state of emergency. Pensacola, Fla.;Charleston, S.C.;Virginia Beach, Va.; New Orleans and Savannah, Ga that are all known as warm weather states being light jacket friendly this time of year are looking at snow and ice Wednesday.
Minnesota, is looking at wind chills up to 50 degrees below zero that are capable of freezing flesh in minutes.
Many churches, businesses, fire stations and even civilians across the Deep South are opening their doors to stranded motorists and homeless people in the communities.
One corporation, for example, stayed open overnight in the metro Atlanta area to provide shelter. The Home Depot stores included are those in Kennesaw, Merchants Walk, Tilly Mill, Woodstock, Decatur, Cumberland, Cascade, Sandy Springs, Acworth, Buckhead, Roswell, Austell, Sandy Plains and Powder Springs.
A number of Kroger, CVS and Target stores also offered shelter to those stranded due to winter weather.
Chevrolet on Cobb Parkway in Smyrna's, Steve Rayman, also offered a warm place to stay for anyone who needs shelter from the cold.
In Gardendale, AL alone, 3 people have perished due to weather related head on collisions. Rescue workers do not know what they will find from one stranded vehicle to the next, and the crash reports are still coming in as the roads remain iced over in the region.
No relief is expected until some time Thursday afternoon.