Stranded in the snow: Scenes from the South

Updated 6:57 PM ET, Wed January 29, 2014
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A rare snowstorm left thousands of motorists trapped on Atlanta interstates overnight. "Thank God I walk to work everyday," said Doug Simonton, who snapped this photo Tuesday afternoon. courtesy Doug Simonton
Monica Cantwell spent Tuesday night in her office at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her 13-year-old daughter stayed overnight at her middle school in nearby Hoover, Alabama. " Everyone I spoke with is very angry about the lack of foresight, including myself as a parent," she said. courtesy Monica Cantwell
The severe weather forced 4,500 students to spend the night in various school buildings in Hoover, Alabama. High school student Christopher Brady shot this photo Tuesday evening. "At first we were excited, but then we panicked a bit," he said. courtesy Christopher Brady
Officials said that 1,254 accidents were reported in Georgia's snowstorm. Jay Hayes shot this photo of I-285 around 5 p.m. Tuesday. "I've lived in Atlanta since 2001, and I have never come across a situation where the city was so unprepared," he said. courtesy jay hayes
As of Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of cars were still stranded on Atlanta's interstates, as seen in this photo taken on a GA 400 exit by iReporter Dylan Wintersteen. "It's bizarre to see all the cars people abandoned and just left last night," he said. Courtesy Dylan Wintersteen
CNN Video Producer Jo Parker slept alongside other female staffers in the basement of the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, where all rooms were booked. Male CNN staffers had less luxurious accommodations in the employee gym. cnn/jo parker
While walking to the grocery store in Roswell, Georgia, Smith Culberson came across an entire highway of abandoned vehicles. "Most cars couldn't drive up the exit ramp because of the ice," he said. Courtesy Smith Culberson
Marcy Heinz left work in Johns Creek, Georgia, at 1:15 p.m. and spent 8 hours on streets and back roads trying to get home. "The gridlock was absolutely unbelievable," she said. "I have 14 and a half years experience driving in Atlanta and this is the worst I've ever seen it." She eventually gave up and wound up spending the night at Milton High School, where students were safely sheltered in one part of the school, separated from stranded motorists also seeking shelter. courtesy Marcy Heinz
Ian Walters says it took about an hour to make the five-mile drive to his Roswell, Georgia, home on Tuesday afternoon. He says the car he was riding in hit a patch of ice on the way up this hill and got stuck for about 10 minutes. Walters was one of the lucky ones, though -- many Atlanta residents reported commutes that took several hours longer than usual. courtesy ian walters
Keshia Owen camped out at HYATT house Atlanta/Cobb Galleria after she could not make it home Tuesday. "I left work at 12:45 yesterday and haven't seen home yet," said Owen. Courtesy Keshia Owen