Nightly News | December 20, 2012
>>> good evening. well, as predicted, last night we have a very big winter storm we're watching. the timing couldn't be worse. and where this storm is bad, it's bad. as we mentioned, the whole mess is sliding east, making a mess of what is traditionally the largest shipping day of the year. here's what this storm has already done, as it rolled across the plains, starting at the pacific coast . this storm will exit on the atlantic coast , bringing with it much the same thing. blizzard and other storm warnings were issued for 16 states today alone. it's where we begin tonight, nbc's kevin tibbles at his post, chicago o'hare. kevin , good evening.
>> reporter: brian , tonight it is holiday chaos for thousands as this massive storm, already being blamed for eight deaths, churns its way across the country. an absolutely body blow to the nation's mid section. with upwards of a foot of snow in places, the massive cleanup hampered by 50-mile-an-hour winds.
>> we have not gotten a break from this snowstorm. that snow as you can see, still coming sideways.
>> reporter: whiteout conditions blamed for a 25-car pileup and three deaths on i-35 in iowa. several tornadoes reported in the south. high winds toppled trees and peeled off rooftops in mobile, alabama.
>> and i just heard a boom real loud and then the tornado was like over my house, roaring over my house, and my whole house was shaking.
>> reporter: in des moines , early morning driving cars off the road and major headaches for those delivering headaches in time for christmas. including u.p.s. world headquarters in louisville, kentucky, nbc's janet shamlian is there.
>> reporter: on the busiest delivery day of the year, they have diverted at least 50 planes from snowed-in cities like des moines and rockford and louisville where packages will be rerouted to avoid the storm.
>> reporter: in madison, wisconsin, treacherous roads and major delays at the airport.
>> i've lived in wisconsin for ten years, and i think this is the worst one i've seen.
>> reporter: wisconsin governor has declared a state of emergency , hundreds of schools remain closed.
>> it's a god send for those that make a living off snowplowing and snow blowing.
>> reporter: and in chicago , mountains of salt are being deployed and folks are stocking up.
>> it's about time we have some of this bad weather , huh? you know, it's chicago . so what can we expect?
>> reporter: many delays in and out of o'hare international airport , at least 1,000 flights cancelled so far nationwide.
>> nobody wants to sleep on the floor at the airport for christmas.
>> reporter: for all those lucky enough not to be traveling, time for a little fun in the fluffy stuff . and tonight, brian , the airlines are so concerned about this heavy weather , they're cancelling flights in the storm's path. here at chicago o'hare and at chicago 's midway airport where southwest has pulled the plug on all of its flights out of chicago tonight . brian ?
>> all right, kevin tibbles, chicago o'hare starting us off. kevin ,