Video: Arctic blast sends shivers across nation

  1. Closed captioning of: Arctic blast sends shivers across nation

    >>> but we begin with that winter blast being felt across much of the nation. the weather channel 's paul goodloe is in silver creek , new york, outside buffalo. paul, what's it like there?

    >> reporter: it is very cold and windy. snow still is coming down here, matt. again, we're in silver creek , about 35 miles south-southwest of buffalo, dealing with our first significant lake-effect snowstorm of the year, and this is a very light, dry, fluffy powder, which is horrible for making snowman and snowballs, but it's great for drifting and blowing across the highway. in fact, interstate 90 , the new york state thruway not too far from here, is closed now because of this. numerous accidents. a jack-knifed 18-wheeler still causing problems there. and travel is definitely not ideal in this part of western new york . and we're still dealing with howling winds out here. temperature about 17, 18 degrees. the windchill with the winds gusting 30 to 40 miles per hour is about one, two degrees below zero . and the snow, an unofficial measurement here in silver creek . we're talking about a foot deep, but again, a lot of this is also drifting because the winds are still gusting 30, 40 miles per hour. it is definitely looking deep into the winter season here in western new york . matt?

    >> all right, paul goodloe in the middle of a big snowstorm. paul, thanks very much.

    >> and al is upstairs with

msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 12/11/2009 2:08:42 PM ET 2009-12-11T19:08:42

About 100 motorists, stranded Friday in snowbound cars on the New York State Thruway southwest of Buffalo, were finally being freed.

Troopers used all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles to keep in touch with motorists who got stuck when blinding snow shut down a stretch of Interstate 90 from Dunkirk, N.Y., to Erie, Pa., at about 1:30 a.m.

A deadly, windy storm paralyzed much of the nation on Thursday. Power failures in the Midwest, stranded hunters in the West and howling winds that helped blow over a bus in New York provided miseries from the first major storm of the season.

In Buffalo, emergency crews topped off gas tanks and checked on stranded motorists by cell phone during the night before starting to turn drivers around and guide them off the closed roadway Friday morning. The Thruway planned to shutdown for the rest of the day.

"We're getting people U-turned," Capt. Michael P. Nigrelli told The Buffalo News. He was leading the rescue efforts for the State Police. "We've made good progress."

Another 5 to 9 inches of heavy and damp snow was expected over northern New York, though western Michigan was expected to see an inch or two on Friday.

Storm pummels nation
Meanwhile, a storm dumped more ice, snow and freezing rain throughout the Midwest.

Slideshow: Covered in white Back-to-back storms also moved through Southern California, snarling Friday morning traffic with fender-benders and prompting new mudslide worries in fire-scarred areas. An overnight storm dumped about a quarter-inch of rain in Los Angeles and more than a half-inch in Burbank, the National Weather Service said.

In Wisconsin, the state faced another day with sub-zero wind chills before average early-December temperatures set in.

Behind this system, slightly warmer temperatures were expected as clockwise flow around the ridge pulled warmer air into the Northern and Central Plains.

New England was expected to remain in the 20s and 30s, while temperatures in the teens were forecast for the Midwest.

Deep freeze
Across the nation Thursday, the wintry weather sent people to emergency rooms for slips and falls, while tow trucks worked overtime and many people simply struggled to get around in frigid winds.

At least 17 people died in the meandering storm, including a man found Wednesday outside his pickup in central Iowa and a North Carolina driver killed when a tree was blown onto his pickup.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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