The National Guard is being called in to help escort school buses as they evacuate the 2,400 students who have been trapped in Atlanta-area schools and buses since yesterday's three inches of snow, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced today. State police will also be involved. Deal said the state government would remain closed tomorrow, and urged people to stay off the roads, CNN reports. Many commuters are still stranded in cars on the highway, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the city's top priority was to get food, water, and gasoline to them, according to USA Today.
Both Reed and Deal defended their storm response, with Reed saying he was "not going to get into the blame game," according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Reed reveals that there have been more than 791 accidents since last night. Towing companies were peppered with calls, but many couldn't help because their trucks couldn't get through the gridlock either. Tractor trailers have been especially difficult to haul off the roads. "What's in common in every single accident we have today? Tractor trailers," complained the state's deputy transportation commissioner. The death toll in Atlanta has been low, however, with one teen dying yesterday afternoon on an icy road crash. In Alabama, by contrast, five people have died and 23 been injured due to the storm.