Thousands of people were left stranded overnight on motorways, in schools and churches as a snowstorm spawned traffic chaos in the US Deep South.
Airports and roads were closed as five states declared emergencies. Military vehicles were deployed to aid stuck motorists and to reach those in need of food and water.
Barely 3in (7.6cm) of snow caused havoc in a warm-weather region where many cities do not even have snow ploughs or fleets of salt trucks.
Hundreds of road accidents were reported, a number of them involving trucks jackknifing on highways.
Despite ample weather warnings, school officials waited until the middle of Tuesday when snow was already falling to send students home on routes where traffic was grinding to a halt.
Nearly 8,000 students across Georgia and Alabama spent the night in school gyms or on buses, reports ABC News.