More Than 20 States Bracing for a Historic and Crippling Winter Storm

Nearly half the country tries to prepare for the worst winter has to offer.
3:00 | 02/11/14

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Transcript for More Than 20 States Bracing for a Historic and Crippling Winter Storm
now. You can see just how much of a monster it is from space. That's the tip of Florida poking through the clouds. More than 20 state, nearly half the country, now under winter watches and warnings, bracing four a new round of ice and snow that experts warn could be historic and crippling, they're already feeling the pain across the south where Steve osunsami starts us off. Reporter: Already, heartbreaking moemnts on iced-over roads across the south, four people died in Texas, including a Dallas firefighter who fell off this overpass responding to an accident. From the heart of Dixie, to the Carolinas, authorities are telling families to stay home. If you do not have to travel, we're encouraging folks to take precautions. Take water, peanut butter, crackers, a blanket. Reporter: More than 2,000 flights across the region are cancelled through at least Wednesday. But once again, it's Atlanta that's in a panic. This is one of mother nature's worst kind of storms that can be inflicted on the south, and that is ice, it is our biggest enemy. Reporter: Authorities are sounding the alarm on cell phones and answering machines, calling the expected ice potentially catastrophic. Now is the time to prepare for the winter storm. Reporter: Up to half an inch could look like this, and bring down trees, leaving hundreds of thousands without power. Help is already on the way tonight from Houston, a Texas power company is sending up to 60 crews. Trees break on the lines and break the lines down. So that's the main thing is trees and ice. Reporter: The traffic nightmare that was Atlanta in the snow two weeks ago is fresh on the mind. Some drivers spent 20 hours trying to get home that night. This evening, marquisa said she's filling up on gaseous in case. That was horrible. I didn't like it at all. Reporter: We road rode along with the sergeant who said the timing is different. We have a head start. It's not going to hit during the commute time. Reporter: It's still pandemonium at hardware and grocery stores no more milk, bread or salt. They're front and center tonight. Even setting up state parks as emergency shelters, George? They've learned their lesson. Ginger zee is tracking the storm. What is the latest who gets hit and when? We have the timing here. There's so many folks. Let's start you with the maps. Yes, we're going to get to it right here in our great city. Here's how it goes. Through parts of Louisiana tonight through northern Alabama, then, tomorrow morning we stopped it at 7:00 A.M. Atlanta, Columbia, both in the ice, then it fills in from south to north. See how Georgia is covered in white. Pink is sleet and freezing rain. That will be epic. Move this through the north as we go through Thursday. That's when New York City starts to see it. Washington, D.C. May even see a changeover to rain. That's going to cut down on snow totals bigtime. Boston, for you, it starts by Thursday, lunch time and then right at the coast, again, sleet, freezing rain, and maybe even all rain in some spots. Let's look at the significant ice that bull's-eye in parts of Georgia and South Carolina, we're talking the worst ice that we've seen in more than a decade in a lot of places and up right there through parts of Virginia and North Carolina, too. Then the snow. The totals are pretty intense. Paul: Especially if you go west of I-95. That's where you think the heaviest snow totals start to fall. The deep red, magenta is a food plus. George.

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

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