Hundreds stranded overnight on Alabama highway

CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama interstate where hundreds of people spent a freezing night has been reopened north of Birmingham.

Motorists were stranded after as much as 4 inches of snow caused a series of wrecks that snarled traffic for miles. Alabama state troopers say the interstate was reopened in both directions this morning.

Daytime temperatures rose above freezing, improving road conditions.

Traffic had backed up at least eight miles on the northbound highway, which links Birmingham and Nashville, Tenn.

Motorists posted on Facebook and Twitter about being trapped for 10 hours and more without food or bathrooms.

The snow was part of a winter storm that affected much of the southeast and caused at least one death in Mississippi.

Road crews in southwestern Virginia were out this morning to plow and treat roads, after a foot or more of snow fell.

%@AP Links

095-r-05-(Sound of traffic moving on a slushy highway, in Hartselle, Alabama)--Sound of traffic moving on a slushy highway, in Hartselle, Alabama (18 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *095 (01/18/13)>> 00:05

179-a-10-(Mike Jones, manager, Pancake House, in AP interview)-"they were going"-Restaurant manager Mike Jones says the snow caused trouble for drivers along Interstate 81, which runs through Salem. (18 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *179 (01/18/13)>> 00:10 "they were going"

157-a-09-(David Roth, forecaster, National Weather Service, in AP interview)-"this one system"-National Weather Service forecaster David Roth says a winter storm has left the Southeast, but not before dropping some snow. (18 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *157 (01/18/13)>> 00:09 "this one system"

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