Photo above: A police officer walks from the scene of an overturned Jeep after an accident on a snow covered road in Richmond, Va., on Wednesday.
Unusually arctic conditions continued to roil the South on Wednesday. The unconventional weather patterns – including snow, ice, record low temperatures and below-zero wind chills – have shut down interstates, triggered highway crashes, closed airport runways and prompted widespread school and government office closings.
At least eight people have died, including a baby in a car that plunged off an icy overpass into a Louisiana canal, the Associated Press reported.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in Louisiana, according to his official Twitter account. More than 1,200 Department of Transportation and Development employees are working around the clock, distributing 1.5 million pounds of salt across the state to help alleviate road conditions.
Many southern cities - such as Houston, New Orleans, and Atlanta - will experience highs on Wednesday of 20 to 25 degrees below average, the Weather Channel's Mike Seidel told CNBC.
"I've never covered snow in 26 years this far south," Seidel said. "Believe it or not, Pensacola Beach (in coastal Florida) this morning is snowing. Temperatures in the 20s. That's how ridiculously cold this air mass is." However, southerners have temperatures in the 50s and 60s to look forward to by the weekend, Seidel added.
These photos illustrate the arctic blast currently gripping the South.