(HLNtv.com) - Much of the Southeastern United States remained hunkered down in the cold Wednesday, a day after ice and snow swept through the region, paralyzing the Atlanta area in particular.
Thousands of people were stranded on the roads and at gas stations, unable to get to children who were left at school without a way home.
After snow began to blanket the city early Tuesday afternoon, the entire metro Atlanta area became gridlocked. The traffic in some areas still hadn't let up by Wednesday morning, with many people still stranded across the city.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Wednesday that it was a mistake for businesses and schools to have all released people as the snowstorm hit, as the mass exodus immediately jammed roads leading out of the city.
While emergency services were overwhelmed with calls for help, people took to social media to ask for food, water and shelter, and for help for loved ones trapped in the snow.
The SnowedOutAtlanta Facebook group was created to help people caught in the weather, and it became a way for residents to help commuters, some of whom had been trapped in traffic for 17 hours. The group now has more than 47,000 members, including people who are still asking for help for themselves and for others who don't have a way home.
People have asked for shelter, food, water and even blankets, as many cars ran out of gas and left people in freezing temperatures. The page was flooded with posts through Wednesday morning, and many requests for help and information are still being posted.
Here are some posts to show what people have endured in and around Atlanta:
E. Dowdly: "I Have someone stranded on Thorton and Riverside parkway and she is running low on cell phone power, gas and she is freezing. ... Can anyone help?"
C. Wu: "My girlfriend last contacted me at 1:59 am to let me know she was on east west connector where it changes to Cumberland pkwy before her phone died. I thought she would be home by now but it is way past time. She's been out there for 14 hrs. She's 6 months pregnant. She hasn't eaten and isn't dressed for the weather. She's driving a 2004 white Ford Explorer. If you see her please help with food and a phone charger."
V. Wynn: "My friend is stuck on Thorton Road. She has been stuck for more than 6 hours. With two baby girls! Please help!!!"
C. Dimas: "Is any one on 285W a little after exit 5A? My mom and aunt are stuck and are in need of some water or maybe a small amount of food. She said she's seen people walk to store, but is too tired, scared and worried to get out of the car herself. She's in a white Mitsubishi Endeavor. If anyone could help them out I would greatly appreciate it!"
A. Scott: "If anyone close to this intersection and has any food or water, please help my fiancé. His name is Don. He has been stuck there since 3:30pm yesterday. He is in a white Silverado with ladders on the top, held by small orange chains. He hasn't eaten since then. Thank you and God bless you all."
But while thousands of people have used the page to seek help, even more have jumped in to offer shelter and information to those who need it. These "snow angels" have emerged from all across Atlanta and have saved many people from desperate and dangerous situations:
E. Aaron: "If you are near Exit 6 or 7 off I-285 and need a place to go, message me and I will lead you to warm food and shelter."
L. Reis: "Heading to Roswell Road / Glenridge Drive with blankets and extra clothing as well as water. Message if you are in need. Can offer food and shelter too."
A. Tudor: "I'm in an apartment right at the intersection of South Cobb/East West Con/Cumberland, across from the fire station. I don't know how traffic is but if anyone needs warm shelter and coffee, I've got room!"
C. Cooper: "I live at Austell rd. and Callaway Rd. I am taking in kids whose parents couldn't make it our are still stuck. Have food, heat and water."
C. Wheeler: "We are off 285 exit 18 Vinings if anyone needs help! I can walk to you with supplies or you can stay with us!"
G. Lutz: "Where am I needed? Can make it just about anywhere?"
D. Nalls: "Im in Douglas county/Hwy 5 area: anyone needs assistance please call me!!! WE have a 4wd and willing to help.770-851-2273"
K. Friedman: "My husband and I are loading our car with water and blankets to try and help stranded folks. we will try and get to the Akers mill hov exit off 285."
These are just a few of the thousands of posts that have poured in since Tuesday afternoon. Hundreds of photos have also been uploaded to the page to show what the gridlock looks like on the ground across the city. Various new groups have also been created to help people in specific areas.
The top post on the SnowedOutAtlanta page has direct links to those other pages, as well as other resources for people still seeking help.
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