I lived through 14 Minnesota winters, and after a similar period in the South, I can say they're really not similar.
Southern pines are spectacular, much taller than those typical in Minnesota, because they can grow for years without being beaten down by the weather. When once in a decade or so they get coated with ice, the result is chaos -- whole trees snapping five feet above ground, crashing through attics into living rooms, tearing down power lines along the way. It sounds like cannon fire echoing through the woods.
The problems of winter hitting the South are not limited to lack of equipment, preparation, or winter driving skills. Nature just isn't ready for it.