Photos: Thousands stranded in 20-hour commute as minor snowstorm hits Atlanta

Commuters spent the night on the freeway

Published January 29, 2014 3:06PM (EST)

A winter storm (or, as Northerners might refer to it, a "storm") has all but shut down Atlanta, where the interstates were entirely unprepared for the two inches of snow that fell on Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Some, having left work and school last evening, are still on their way home as the commute creeps past hour 20.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, who late Tuesday night declared a state of emergency, said early Wednesday that the National Guard is sending military Humvees out to Atlanta's freeways to get food and water to people, while State Patrol troopers are checking on students who had to spend the night at school. The local police force, meanwhile, is overwhelmed:

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has more on the ongoing chaos:

Interstate 285 is closed in multiple spots and traffic is still bumper-to-bumper and barely moving on several other interstates, including on I-75 north of downtown and on I-20 west of downtown. Transporataion officials said the biggest problem is tractor-trailers unable to get tractionon the ice that are blocking multiple lanes of the interstates.

...“It’s a horrible, horrible, horrible situation for people who are stuck out there,” said [GDOT spokeswoman Karlene] Barron, her eyes filling with tears. “I sit there and think about the mothers whose children are stuck in school buses… But people need to understand our folks are working as tedious as they can. This is a really hard situation for everybody.”

At least one baby was born in the gridlock, which has seen a number of fatal accidents and hundreds of fender benders. In plenty of cases, though, people are just bored: “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,” one Candace Bazemore told the AJC.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, meanwhile, is probably regretting the tweet he sent out Tuesday morning:

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Below, check out images from the ongoing traffic jam:

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By Lindsay Abrams

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Atlanta Extreme Weather Snowstorm Traffic