Andrea Duke had been in her car for eight hours, and she still wasn’t home. She’s wasn’t alone. Betsy Griffin, Lisa Appleton, Dave Allen and Meghan Benson were still in their cars after 8 p.m. after heading out as early as noon, the commuters told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I just finished listening to ‘The Hunger Games’ audible book, played all my lives on Candy Crush, met 10 people in various cars and watched the same policeman save four people,” Candace Bazemore said in an email.
The winter storm that paralyzed metro Atlanta and other parts of Georgia prompted Gov. Nathan Deal to declare a state of emergency Tuesday afternoon for all 159 counties. He addressed the government’s efforts to help unclog roadways and rescue stranded motorists late Tuesday night, and said troopers being sent to schools where students were stranded. Shortly before midnight, about 50 students were still aboard Atlanta Public School buses, a spokeswoman for the district said. In DeKalb County, at least 20 vehicles were involved in a pileup on U.S. 78 eastbound, past Hugh Howell Road. All lanes were blocked around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
In a matter of hours, snow blanketed the area Tuesday afternoon. But any hopes of a winter wonderland were dashed by a more miserable reality. Late Tuesday night, hundreds of vehicles were still stranded on interstates and side streets throughout the metro area. Take rush-hour traffic in Atlanta, add inches of slushy, slick mess and the result was gridlock on interstates in all directions. For hours, roads and interstates have remained jammed stranding some drivers, and there were too many wrecks to count.