Nightly News   |  January 23, 2014

Record Cold Brings Travel Woes

The extreme cold is bringing hazardous travel conditions that are already turning deadly in some places.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the weather continues to make news across our country tonight in the form of this latest blast of frigid air covering a large part of the nation. bringing dangerous and now deadly conditions. we want to get the very latest from nbc dylan drier, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian, nearly half the country right now is under a sort of wind chill warning or advisory. and this extreme cold is causing very hazardous travel conditions that have already turned deadly in places.

>> you are looking down at an absolutely horrible accident.

>> reporter: in indiana this afternoon, two people killed in a multi- vehicle accident that shut down a major highway near michigan city . the crash involved 15 semis and first responders are still searching through the wreckage. low visibility paralyzed drivers. after a record-setting storm blasted the region with up to 12 inches of snow . so much snow you could see it from space. blame it on the arctic air mass , settling over the northwest and middle east . minus 20 in fargo, and a staggering negative 36 in international falls , minnesota.

>> it is really cold.

>> bone-chilling.

>> reporter: in west bridge water, massachusetts, below zero temperatures froze the fire hydrants . so cold the water from the hoses instantly turned to ice. in new york, the hudson river was changed into a giant, floating ice field . the fresh water here in the adirondacks, breaking off, flowing down the hudson river . but with the continuing northwest wind all the ice has now been trapped in place. those traveling by air didn't do any better. more than 400 flights cancelled today bringing the number to 35,000, just 23 days into the year. in minnesota, nebraska and idaho, school closures three days straight. in ohio, several districts are already maxed out on snow days .

>> this is a record for the snow books, in the last two years, only one snow day , this year, half way through january and we already hit five.

>> reporter: now parts of southeastern texas are bracing for an ice storm tonight and early tomorrow morning. and as for this bitter air it could get even worse next week for people already suffering from the cold.

>> dylan drier in mid-town manhattan