Atlanta Area Clearing 2,000 Cars Abandoned in Snow Snarl

After gridlock that lasted more than a day

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David Tulis / AP

Abandoned cars are piled up on the median of the ice-covered Cobb Parkway at I-285 after a winter snow storm slammed the city with over 2 inches of snow that turned highways into parking lots creating massive traffic jams lasting through Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Atlanta.

Authorities in Georgia were helping motorists Thursday to retrieve more than 2,000 vehicles that were abandoned in and around Atlanta, following a modest snowfall that nevertheless jammed roads for more than a day this week, infuriated citizens and put officials on the defensive over their response.

Drivers are being transported in four-wheel-drive vehicles to their cars and provided with additional gas and a jump-start if necessary, CNN reports, after the snow that began Tuesday caused massive gridlock, thousands of accidents, hundreds of injuries and at least one fatality.

The ice-cold weather across much of the South didn’t stop one doctor in Alabama, Zenko Hrynkiw, who ditched his car and walked some six miles in the snow to perform a life-saving brain surgery, reports. And it didn’t keep one mother, Amy Anderson, from giving birth to a daughter on the side of a highway, police officer Tim Sheffield, who responded to the scene, told the Today show.

Schools in Atlanta were closed again Thursday amid freezing temperatures in the morning, and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal had already announced Wednesday that state government offices would be closed. Some of the ice on the region’s highways melted Wednesday, and temperatures were expected to rise by Thursday afternoon, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

In Alabama—where more than 11,000 students were trapped in schools on Tuesday night—most schools in the Birmingham area will also be closed, but thawing temperatures are expected later in the day.