Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 5:55 pm
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
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.
Entergy, the predominant utility company serving much of Southeast Louisiana, including the City of New Orleans, says its subsidiary companies have marshaled over 2,100 workers in advance of a winter storm system expected to hammer the region between Monday night and Wednesday morning.
The entire region is currently under a Winter Storm Warning, and the National Weather Service is forecasting 1–2 inches of snow and 1/4 to 1/2-inch of ice in the New Orleans metro area. Areas south of Lake Pontchartrain will see less snow and more ice accumulation as a result of the storm system.
The whole region might be encased in ice this week, but there's still time to get to your favorite local bookstore and stock up before the temperature drops and the roads close.
Here are some snow day reading choices perfect for curling up with in front of a roaring fire (or a space heater!).
— Finish up Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series with The Days of Anna Madrigal and pretend you’re in San Francisco, where there is no snow, only an ever-charming and beloved cast of characters.
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.