(CNN) -- Winter weather greeted southerners as they returned to work Tuesday following the New Year's holiday weekend, with freezing temperatures replacing the surprisingly warm weather of recent days.
Bone-chilling cold took over much of the Southeast. Snow was forecast for higher elevations of the North Carolina mountains and freeze warnings were in effect for much of Florida.
A quick-moving snow storm was blamed for two pileups involving dozens of cars in Kentucky, CNN affiliate WLWT reported. One involved 41 vehicles, and left eight people injured, six of whom were hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries, the report said.
The second pileup involved three separate crashes and more than 30 vehicles, WLWT reported.
Interstate 75 was closed for more than four hours, the affiliate said.
The storm came on with no warning -- quickly making the streets treacherous, CNN affiliate WCPO reported.
"It was like something you would see in a movie. It was just unbelievable," resident Bobby Webb told WCPO. "It was just a whiteout. People were just slamming into each other like dominoes."
On Sunday, parts of northern and western Michigan were hit with a blizzard, coating some areas with almost a foot of snow.
Heavy snow was expected to taper off Tuesday for much of Michigan.