Transcript for Heavy, wet snow blasts Midwest
And we begin tonight with two major storms hitting on the eve before Thanksgiving. Weather alerts from California to the northeast with millions of Americans traveling for the holiday right now. Major bumper to bumper traffic in Chicago, take a look at this hour right now. Traffic moving slowly in north Carolina, as well. Drivers facing near whiteout conditions in Minnesota. And snow and ice stranding hundreds on interstate 5 between California and Oregon. Passengers packing Chicago's o'hare airport. Thousands of flights delayed on one of the busiest travel days of the year. For many, the return trip home mail be not much easier. ABC's Alex Perez leads us off tonight. Reporter: Tonight, the blast of heavy snow slamming parts of the midwest. Falling as fast as two inches an hour. Minneapolis declaring a snow emergency. The city's first responders battling the elements at this apartment fire. Entered the 14th floor where they experienced heavy fire and very high heat. Reporter: Tragically, five people did not survive. In Chicago, damaging wind gusts. Above 60 miles per hour. Scaffolding crashing through this taxi windshield, the driver hurt. And in the south suburbs, winds whipping the flames of this structure fire. At o'hare airport, pilots battling cross winds. More than 500 flights delayed at this major hub today. More than 3,500 across the country, on this, the second-busiest travel day of the year. And on the roads, new video showing how dangerous ice can be. A Utah highway patrol trooper jumping over a concrete barrier just in time. His body camera capturing his escape from another angle. In northern California, a second storm system shutting down part of interstate 5 for hours north of Redding. Dozens of travelers stranded. At this point, they can't even plow the roads because so many people are stuck in the roadway. Reporter: To the west, winds gusting nearly 70 miles per hour, ripping the roof off this crescent city hardware store Tuesday. And in the mountains north of L.A., the California highway patrol using pace cars to slow drivers down. We're slowing people down to about 30 miles per hour. That's a safe speed. People start going 65, 70, and just a recipe for disaster. Can't go too fast. Alex Perez joins us now live from Minneapolis. That city declaring a snow emergency. Alex, it looks cold out there. We know parts of the midwest getting a foot of snow from that first storm now barrelling east? Reporter: Yeah, that's right, Tom. You can see traffic behind me here moving slowly, but it's been a miserable day of travel for the millions of people trying to get around for the holiday. This storm is now moving east, but it's expected to create problems along the way, so this is not over just yet.
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