BBC Online : Students stranded overnight after a snow storm left roads in the US South impassable have returned home, and soldiers have rescued stuck motorists. The storm was blamed for at least 12 dead, many of them traffic-related. Barely 3in (7.6cm) of snow caused havoc in a warm-weather region where many cities do not even have snow ploughs or fleets of salt trucks. Officials were criticised for ineffective preparation despite ample warning of the impending storm. School officials waited until the middle of Tuesday when snow was already falling to send students home on routes where traffic was grinding to a halt. Thousands of students across Georgia and Alabama spent Tuesday night in school gyms, and hundreds were trapped on school buses in the Atlanta region. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said by Wednesday night all students in the Atlanta area had returned to their families. Many commuters abandoned cars along jammed motorways to seek shelter in churches and fire stations. Gridlock on the streets of Atlanta was so bad that a police officer had to deliver a baby on a snowy motorway. Deal said on Wednesday morning that the National Guard had sent military Humvees on to the city’s motorways to move stranded school buses and provide food and water to people. And South Carolina’s Highway Patrol responded to more than 800 collisions on Tuesday evening. Several people were killed in weather-related accidents, including five in Alabama on Tuesday, one in Atlanta and two in North Carolina.