Icy roads contribute to at least 4 fatalities, fifth death attributed to exposure.
Ice-locked roads, snow accumulations and frigid temperatures roiled much of the southon Wednesday as major regional airports shuttered their runways.
Morning flights were canceled at Louisiana's Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport due to icy conditions, stranding passengers before reopening at midday. Still, airport authorities warned that a freeze warning is in effect later Wednesday night, which could again affect operations.
Further west in Houston, dramatic footage showed drivers desperately turning around on a major highway, using entrance ramps to exit to avoid icy roads and mass congestion.
At least five people died in weather-related incidents, According to reports.. A homeless man was found dead of exposure in Houston. Two people died in traffic accidents in West Virginia and New Orleans, and two men were killed in a traffic accident in Atlanta.
Icy conditions were prominent throughout the south and the Gulf Coast with portions of the Interstate 10 closed in Louisiana and Alabama.
"With icy and snowy roads across much of the southern and eastern U.S. it's a good idea to avoid travel if you can," the National Weather Service wrote on Twitter.
Cold records were shattered Wednesday morning in Louisiana and Mississippi, according to reports, along with record high electricity usage in Texas as residents sought reprieve from the biting cold.