Winter Storm Slams Middle of the Country

A pre-Christmas blizzard is battering at least eight states.
3:09 | 12/20/12

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Transcript for Winter Storm Slams Middle of the Country
Let's get to the breaking developments on the extreme weather battering much of the country. There's reports of damaging tornados in the south? Everything you're going to see, elizabeth, is coming from one storm system. From the dust storms in texas, to the blizzard warnings in seven states. Let's take the ones that are immediate right now. The biggest danger from the storm reports. We have multiple tornado warnings popping up right now in alabama and louisiana. We had folks trapped in mobile and damage in the storms popping up as we speak right now in all of those storm zones. This is where the storms are likely to be strongest today. This system has a snowmaking low to the north. But a cold front to the south. Jacksonville, to tlanatlanta to charleston to raleigh. This is where the possibility of tornadoes will be popping up. On the northern side of the storm is the snow component. These are blizzard-like conditions in 17 states. And some places will pick up 10 to 15 inches of snow. One place that already has nine inches of snow on the ground, des moines, iowa. And ginger zee is right under all that snow. Good morning, ginger. Sam, the winds here have been absolutely brutal. Look behind me. The state capital, blowing snow blasting against it. We've had six to ten inches. But you can hardly tell because it's been blowing around. Three-foot to five-foot drifts. That's going to cause the trouble tonight. Overnight, eight inches of snow dumped in parts of nebraska, with 50-mile-per-hour wind gusts that sent cars like this sliding straight through intersections. And in iowa, in the midst of a blizzard, a flash. Was that you? And then -- yeah. Reporter: Yep. That's thundersnow. It's just one of the many weather phenomena from this winter storm. It's affecting everything from colorado to wisconsin. And on the backside, in texas, downtown lubbock was hardly visible wednesday. Dust storms caused by whipping winds up to 60 miles per hour, sent 23 cars colliding on this texas highway, killing 1 man and injuring 17 others. And this storm would shut down parts of an interstate in colorado, was just as much trouble as the denver airport. One cancellation. Two delays. Missed one plane by three minutes. At first, it was wet and heavy snow. Now, it is dry and blowing and drifting. This is a perfect example of why so many folks are going to be frozen in time here in the midwest, at least for today. Sam? Yeah. You're right, ginger. And even though chicago gets on the wet side of the storm, once it passes, they will get on the cold side. There will be snow in that direction, as well. Travel delays that ginger just showed you on the roads. More of a problem in the air. As the system moves east on the weekend, even new york and boston will have delays from this storm. And we'll talk about the west when we get back with the rest of the weather. It is a messy next couple of days.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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