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Record Breaking Temperatures, and a Blast of Dangerous Cold

Big freeze turns the heartland into an dangerous, icy mess, plus word of an avalanche in Utah.
3:00 | 12/23/13

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Transcript for Record Breaking Temperatures, and a Blast of Dangerous Cold
We do begin here with millions of americans traveling for christmas and facing bitterly cold temperatures and ice and heavy rain now making driving miserable. This evening the weather whiplash, temperatures plunging. In upstate new york trees and power lines caked in ice, some of them snapping. Power outages from the midwest to new england. Now warnings of an avalanche, even reports of a tornado. Tonight the system is on the move with dangerous temperatures on the way for families traveling and doing that last minute shopping. Our team here covering it all and abc meteorology ginger zee leading us off. Reporter: Frozen solid. Parts of michigan to maine encased in up to an inch and a quarter of ice. Think enough to skate the streets in toronto, canada. Freezing rain taking down trees. Which takes down power lines. The thing is, when they get one line repaired, now another branch is coming down. So it's just -- they're not really catching up. Reporter: And still tonight, more than 400,000 are without power which may end up leaving many with a very dark and cold christmas. We get a little heat from the stove because it's gas. Other than that, just making out putting heavy clothes and trying to stay warm. Reporter: The runways in detroit this morning so slick, a delta flight careening into grass. And in new england, this is one of the worst ice storms they've seen in 15 years. Here's paul merrill from wmtv. Here in hollowell, maine in the central part of the state, about three- quarters of an inch of ice on tree branches. It's pulling down power lines and making the roads especially treacherous. Reporter: A dramatic river on the charles river in massachusetts. Crosby, a 5-year-old golden retriever, trapped, firefighters wading in rescuing the pup. There are rescues out west, too. At least 8 avalanches in utah since this weekend. Ginger zee is with us now. You say families traveling and doing last minute shopping and wind chills are concerning. It is that bitter cold and dangerous cold. We have wind chill advisories. Look at the numbers, david. 12 below tomorrow morning is what it will feel like in chicago. It will feel like 4 below in st. Louis, 19 below, some of the roughest air. We had the rains, the record warmth on the east coast. From tonight to tomorrow morning there are actually freeze watches in the panhandle of florida and southern georgia. We'll see you on "gma" in the morning. Across this country that last minute scramble to buy

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