For residents affected by a storm that stretched about 2,000 miles across the U.S. — from New Mexico to Maine — today was Ice Friday, a dangerous combination of subzero temperatures, sleet and freezing rain and sheets of black ice over roadways.
Nine states were under winter storm warnings and advisories earlier today. Roads in Illinois became ice rinks with blowing snow. More than a dozen airports across seven states had to be shut down and at least six people were killed due to the storm, according to authorities.
In northern Arkansas, a man was killed today when an ice-laden tree fell on his home. In Little Rock, Ark., a bystander captured video of a bus driver momentarily losing control on a slick road. Families found themselves stuck either at home or in their cars on the roads.
“You know it’s bad when they close the medical school here,” Alan Diekman said.
Justin Roberts, who wore no gloves or boots as he scraped the ice off his car with an old license plate, said this kind of weather shouldn’t be occurring in the South.
“They did warn us,” he said of local forecasters. “But when it hits, it hits, and no one really knows what to expect.”
In Texas, the weight of the ice and snow brought by a seven-hour storm in the Dallas area caused the roof of a marina to collapse. Officials also had to cancel the Dallas Marathon. Downed power lines caused by snapped branches left more than 200,000 homes without power.
Utility crews from other states called in before the storm hit worked overtime to remove the tree limbs and repair the lines.
And while the temperatures won’t be rising above freezing anytime soon, the worst of the storm seemed to be moving north and east.
ABC News’ Carlos Boettcher contributed to this report.