The City of New Orleans and the metro region have begun to emerge from the winter storm that forced a near-complete shutdown of everything from airports to roads to restaurants, according to a city press conference held Wednesday morning.
Officials say we’re not out of the woods just yet, as dangerous winter weather continues to grip the region and already-freezing or near-freezing temperatures are expected to plunge again this evening.
The GOES-East satellite (a joint project of NASA and NOAA) captured this photo of the winter storm that hammered the South yesterday.
The National Weather Service has canceled the Winter Storm Warning for the New Orleans region as the storm moves offshore, but a Hard Freeze Warning is in effect. Temperatures are forecasted to warm into the mid- to upper-30s today, with hints of sunshine, but will quickly plummet after nightfall.
Mostly cloudy skies and cold temperatures will be found across the area today. Icy conditions will continue through the morning hours on area roads and bridges. Some melting is expected this afternoon, but icy conditions will redevelop by this evening.
The storm that dumped sleet and ice over the New Orleans region and much of the state has passed out into the Gulf of Mexico, prompting the National Weather Service's New Orleans office to cancel the Winter Storm Warning and replace it with a Hard Freeze Warning.
South Louisiana has slowly ground to a halt as a winter storm dumps snow, sleet and freezing rain from Lafayette through coastal Mississippi.
The National Weather Service says moderate to heavy sleet continues across most of the region, and a Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for metro New Orleans. The NWS says the Winter Storm Warning is expected to last until Wednesday morning, and will likely be replaced by a Hard Freeze Warning once precipitation finally ceases.
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.
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DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: In Birmingham, Alabama today, just getting around town is practically impossible.