Deep Freeze Leaves Thousands of Americans in the Dark

Crews work through the night to repair downed power lines and restore electricity.
3:00 | 12/24/13

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Transcript for Deep Freeze Leaves Thousands of Americans in the Dark
If you have the power on and the christmas lights are on, consider yourself among the lucky ones because thousands tonight remain in the dark and what's worse, frigid air is now on the way. Temperatures dropping drastically as power crews from the midwest to the northeast work on this christmas eve, getting those ice covered power lines back up. Tonight so many families in the midwest turning to generators and fireplaces just to keep warm. Traveling has not been easy for millions, some roads so slick and dangerous look at this, cars sliding out of control, this pilot right here in ohio. We have team coverage tonight. Where will it be a white and cold christmas in a moment here but first the pictures coming in on this christmas eve. We begin here with abc's alex perez. Reporter: Instead of holiday music, it's the sound of generators filling the frozen air in parts of michigan. At one point today, more than 300,000 michigan homes without power. Crews working round the clock to make repairs. Thousands forced to cancel christmas plans and sit in the dark and bitter cold. There's no place to stay. A lot of the hotels are closed. A lot of the hotels are without power. Reporter: With the freezing rain, a 300-foot long power line, covered in two inches of ice, gets more than 2,200 pounds heavier. Easily enough to snap that line in two. In the northeast we are coping with the worst ice storm they've seen in 15 years. Near syracuse an inch of ice coating trees, cars and even homes. The scariest part of the whole thing was last night listening to the ice crackle. You could hear it crackle and the trees just falling. Reporter: In the midwest deep freeze, feel like temperatures in chicago almost 20 below zero today, the coldest christmas eve in nine years here. What do you got? Under armour, a sweater and my coat. And still feeling the cold? Still feeling the cold. Reporter: Near cleveland that 40 car pileup closed an 11 mile stretch. Slick roads had drivers spinning out into ditches. In minnesota and parts of the upper midwest temperatures dropping to a bone chilling 30 below zero. In minneapolis even holiday cheer comes with a cold dose of reality. David, here in chicago and parts of the midwest tonight, the bitter cold will break and give way to snow that could lead to that white christmas so many are hoping for. David? Alex per ease leading us off from chicago on this christmas eve. Thank you. You heard alex report on christmas dinner likely in the dark tomorrow for so many across the country and of course the big chill on the way. I want to bring in harvey leonard. Always great to have you. This is tough news, power still out tonight for so many across new england. Absolutely. 80,000 homes alone in maine and over half a million homes are still without power across parts of the midwest and the northeast. Making matters worse it gets very cold in the next 24 hours. It really does, very cold tonight and even the high temperatures that we're going to show you now for christmas day are certainly not that high. Still below freezing in the NORTHEAST, 20s TO AROUND 30. Cold in the upper midwest where it could be snowing across a good chunk of children. Who wakes up to a white christmas in addition to presents tomorrow morning? A pretty good chunk of the country. North and west of boston you have a snow cover, north and west of st. Louis you have a snow cover. The upper midwest. The colorado rockies are snowy and the dakotas are snowy as

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