Transcript for Dangerous Weather Sweeps Nation With Wintry Blast
They are calling it ice friday, the freezing storm stretching 2,000 miles from the heart land to the east coast. 124 million americans across 16 states, in its grip. Look at what some families face this weekend, cars, no match for the slick icy highways. Neighbors pitching into help out. Power lines dangerously caked in ice. So are the car windows. Sidewalks turned into skating rinks, roads icy enough for sleds. Our extreme weather team is in the storm zone tonight. And abc's steve osunsami starts us off in arkansas. Reporter: Black ice. White ice. They're calling ice friday, stretching some 2,000 miles across the middle of the country. Turning roads in illinois into ice rinks with massive blowing snow, shutting down more than a dozen airports across seven states, and killing at least six people. In northern arkansas today a man was killed when an icy tree fell down on his home. And this was the ice versus a power line in fayetteville, the ice won. There are flashes. Reporter: Back in the silty the driver of this little rock bus nearly lost it on a slick road. Families stuck at home, or in their cars, stuck on the roads. It has to be bad if the medical school closes. Reporter: Justin roberts says this shouldn't be happening in the south. He had no gloves or boots and was using an old license plate to scrape the ice off his car. They did warn us but when it hits, it hits. And I guess nobody really is ready for it when it comes. Reporter: This is what families are up agnst, cities without the resources to clear the streets. All day long, and we saw one lonely snowplow. Over in texas, the weight of the ice and snow brought down the roof of this marina, they cancelled the dallas marathon, our mike boettcher is there and says thousands of families still in the dark. A seven hour ice storm left more than 200,000 homes in dallas without power. The culprit? A thick coat of ice on limbs, they snapped and brought down power lines all around the metroplex. Reporter: Tonight utility crews brought in from other states before the storm are working overtime to remove the branches and repair the lines. These freezing temperatures aren't going anywhere any time soon, so this is going to stick around for a bit. The worst of this storm now heading north and east, greeting the residents of the ohio river valley tonight. Diane. All right, steve osunsami out in the cold. As steve said, thousands of power lines across the country are laird in ice, even one inch can be dangerous for an outage. Abc's weather editor ginger zee is tracking the power for us. It's so important to talk about that ohio valley. The area getting it first tonight, and for the early morning saturday, I want to just lay that out for you. From d.C. To new york it should stay rain. Just north along the pink line, that is who has to watch out. This is what we're talking about power line wise, when you see a power line, 300 feet is all it takes, 300 feet long, and then you get an inch of ice on it. That will add 2200 pounds to the power line, and it snaps. That's not the end of our problem, because even if the power line makes it through, the ice falls off when you start to thaw and it snaps like a rubber band. Next question, are we done after that? He said it will stay cold, it will, but we have another storm out west. Let me show you what will happen. Snow and ice for areas that are not used to it certainly this early look at north of sacramento, 2 1/2 inches of snow, this could be historic snow for them. We will watch this new storm come on shore this weekend. It's amazing what one inch of ice can do. Thanks so much, ginger and our team will be tracking the fast moving storm all weekend long.
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