Freezing weather continues to cause major disruption in northeast and midwest states of the US and is now extending its grip southwards.
As many as 50 million people across a region including Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama have been warned to expect plunging temperatures and heavy snow.
As conditions worsened, Atlanta airport cancelled hundreds of flights.
The exceptional weather has already forced officials to close roads, schools and government buildings, advising drivers to stay at home.
While southern state authorities are used to high humidity and the hurricanes that can bring, they say they feel ill-prepared for the arctic blast.
“That’s always been the fact in the South – we’ve got to be honest that we don’t have these storms very often so, the equipment needed or the level of capacity isn’t as great as compared, say, with New York, Connecticut or New Hampshire,” admitted North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.
The potential for ice is a major concern, affecting roads, water pipes and prompting fears of power cuts. With the cold snap set to last at least a couple of days southerners can do little but stock up on supplies waiting for the thaw.