ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta/AP) — While many motorists remain stranded in their cars on roadways in Georgia, officials are working to get food, water, and other necessities to those who have nowhere to go.

National Guard vehicles were called in and police officers were used to escort home the children who were still at schools.

In Atlanta, the National Guard has been handing MREs, the food U.S. soldiers are eating in Afghanistan, to motorists stranded on the highways, one soldier said in an interview with WGCL-TV. He held up a package that contained a cheese tortellini product.

MRE, which stands for Meal, Ready-to-Eat, is food that is “meant to be completely self-contained meals that provide all the nutrition a solider-on-the-go needs,” according to MREs generally consist of an entree, bread, crackers, a spread and a heater.

It wasn’t clear exactly how many people were still stranded out on the roads nearly 24 hours after the storm hit the Deep South on Tuesday, paralyzing the region. The timing of when things would clear was also uncertain because temperatures were not expected to be above freezing for very long to give the roads a chance to thaw.

The rare snowstorm deposited mere inches of snow, but overnight, the South saw fatal crashes and hundreds of fender-benders. Jackknifed 18-wheelers littered Interstate 65 in central Alabama. Ice shut down bridges on Florida’s panhandle and the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, one of the world’s longest spans, in Louisiana. Some commuters pleaded for help via cellphones while still holed up in their cars, while others trudged miles home, abandoning their vehicles outright.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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