The Deep South is in a deep freeze. Snow, sleet and freezing rain have gripped a region more accustomed to sun and surf. As a result, roads are a mess and from South Louisiana to the Carolina coast, classes are cancelled, airplanes are grounded, and businesses and government offices are closed.
NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.
(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS)
DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: In Birmingham, Alabama today, just getting around town is practically impossible.
Jury selection began Monday in the trial of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who faces charges that he accepted bribes and free trips among other things from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work.
Nagin, a Democrat who was mayor when Hurricane Katrina stuck in 2005, served two terms before leaving office in 2010. He was living in a Dallas suburb when a federal grand jury indicted him a year ago.
Nagin had little to say as he entered the federal courthouse with a noticeable limp.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is preparing to deal with the snow, sleet and freezing rain expected to impact the New Orleans region this week.
The DOTD said in a press release that they are planning to pretreat portions of Interstates and major traffic corridors ahead of the storm's impact. Workers are prepared to apply de-icing materials, remove fallen trees, and close roadways if necessary; however, the state does not possess enough equipment or resources to keep all the bridges in the state open through this severe weather event.