Nightly News   |  February 09, 2010

Snomageddon, again

Tens of thousands of homes and business still have no power or heat from last weekend's winter blast, and forecasters say Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia should brace for another 15 inches or more of snow. NBC's Tom Costello reports.

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>>> airplane? "nightly news" begins now.

>>> good evening. by one estimate, 48 million americans are tonight preparing for at least six inches of snow. for some of them in some of the big population centers, there's already two to three feet on the ground and they may get a foot more. the eastern seaboard is going to get battered, damaging winds expected, power will go out, heavy snow will fall. that's where it begins. then comes the ripple effect across the country. again washington , d.c., is in its path among other cities. remember, the federal government is still shut down because of last weekend's storm. tom costello is there tonight for this next one. good evening.

>> reporter: hi, brian. we still have thousands here in the d.c. metro area without heat or electricity. now we are lookingng at 12 to 15 inches more here, more in baltimore, more in philadelphia, on top of the two to three feet we already have. from the midwest to the east coast , the snow is all anyone can talk about.

>> we are talking about very heavy amounts of snowfall coming in here.

>> reporter: 22 states are under a winter watch or warning, especially bad news for the mid atlantic still digging out from two to three feet of snow. now more is on the way.

>> i just want to scream.

>> i'm just waiting for the sun now. this is getting redick lus.

>> reporter: in d.c., virginia and maryland, schools remain close. some gas stations are out of fuel and grocery stores are running low on staples.

>> i'm trying to get what i can. there isn't any regular milk so we are going to soy milk .

>> reporter: this auto repair garage collapsed under the weight of the snow.

>> roof collapses are going to become an increasing problem. we had a number of those around the state and anticipate more.

>> reporter: with blizzard conditions forecast for new york, the mayor today acted preemptively.

>> we are going to close all of the city's public schools on wednesday.

>> reporter: meanwhile, the second act to the travel nightmare has already begun with airlines canceling flights and moving planes away from the storm. wmaq's christian farr is in chicago.

>> here at midway airport , southwest canceled all their flights for 24 hours , while at o'hare more than 500 flights canceled due to the weather.

>> reporter: back in official washington --

>> the weather is interfering this week with our ability to do business, as well.

>> reporter: day two of the federal government shutdown and many law makers left town. many roads in the nation's capital at an impasse of their own. that means congress, of course, isn't working on financial regulatory reform or health care , for that matter, or the toyota hearings. all of that will have to wait. the house doesn't get back until february 22nd , brian.

>> page, inaction in congress. at least this time we can blame the snow. tom costello from washington . al roker is