More than 300,000 are without power across the Southeast and store shelves empty of essentials after Winter Storm Octavia coated areas with ice and dumped 18 inches of snow in one Kentucky town.
Electricity was out for 153,000 in Georgia, 82,000 in South Carolina and 39,000 in North Carolina, in addition to tens of thousands more in Arkansas, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.
The storm’s impact was intensified not only due to the ice but because locations throughout the South don’t have as many snow plows as do many Midwestern and Northeast cities. In Kentucky, interstate travelers saw a 10-mile backup on I-65.
And unlike many Southern winter storms, sub-freezing temperatures are likely to remain for days and days. Often, Southern towns depend on the sun to melt roads.
“This is not your typical North Carolina winter storm,” said North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. “We’re used to the Carolina sunshine coming right back. That’s not going to happen.”
Flights were cancelled throughout the region, and many grocery stores in Nashville, Tennessee closed their doors Monday. One spokesman for Kroger said there have been delays in restocking some items after customers bought essentials over the weekend and emptied store shelves.
Read more about the storm here.