Nightly News   |  December 25, 2013

Thousands of homes still in dark

More than 200,000 families were still in the dark and cold waiting for the power to come back on Wednesday, days after a big ice storm. NBC's Ron Mott reports.

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>>> families settle in it's been a tough day for more than 200,000 people still in the dark and cold waiting for the the power to come back on days after a big ice storm . other families were left upset and empty-handed after a backup for u.p.s. and fedex meant some presents didn't make it for christmas . nbc's ron mott is covering it all for us. he starts us off outside 30 rock in new york.

>> reporter: good evening. for those who waited for today to travel it's been mostly smooth sailing. fewer than 200 flight delays but in michigan the weather is adding to the headache some people are feeling. near grand rapids , michigan, weather made for treacherous driving again today. at least a dozen accidents on i-96. crews there and in maine spent christmas day in the bitter cold trying to restore power to more than 200,000 families left in the cold by a weekend snow and ice storm .

>> it's rewarding to be here and help people out.

>> reporter: while rough weather made for tough going for delivery drivers weather isn't to blame for holiday packages dhant make it for christmas . fedex reported delays and u.p.s. -- the world's largest package delivery company -- apologized saying u.p.s. is experiencing heavy holiday volume and making every effort to get packages to their destination. however, the volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our network immediately preceding christmas so some shipments were delayed. the company resumes deliveries tomorrow. in texas, a few people tried picking up packages but left emp the ti handed.

>> they made me come for no reason.

>> reporter: social media was a sounding board . one woman writes it's their christmas too. let them have today. another, i waited at my house all day for nothing. now i don't have any gifting for my loved ones. sarah left empty handed after an hour-long drive to u.p.s.

>> i paid additional for the shipment to be rushed.

>> reporter: missing packages aside the day was filled with tradition and good tidings. the uso treated service members. volunteer thes served hot meals in d.c.

>> this is a place where you can come, talk and feel like a family sthrks in california, let there be light . 370,000 lightses on a san francisco home.

>> i think it's magical. you got to see the elves and santa claus .

>> reporter: one homeowner matched the sentiment. at this connecticut starbucks, the christmas spirit lit up the cash register and hearts.

>> somebody paid it forward for us.

>> reporter: more than 400 random acts of kindness that started yesterday and is still going. amazon said it would work with chers by refunding shipping charges. you can see rockefeller center is full of people trying to look at the tree. tomorrow the stores are expected to be jammed with shoppers looking for after christmas bargains.