Nightly News   |  February 04, 2014

Endless Winter: 24 States Slammed with Snow

Two dozen states have been hit by a powerful winter storm. In some areas, visibility was near zero and every snow plow has been working around the clock.

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

>>> big problems to report tonight in the american midwest , especially. that includes travelers trying to get through or around some weather or those expecting someone who is. yet another storm is on the move with an even stronger one potentially right behind it. and in some places, it is stopping transportation and commerce. the winter of our discontent keeps rolling along as this current storm has about 120 million americans in its path. to put it another way, more americans are under winter storm warnings tonight than they were for any single storm all of last year. janet shamlian has been out in it all day, in kansas city , she starts us off from there tonight. hey, janet good evening.

>> reporter: brian, it's system coming down here tonight on a day when schools called yet another snow day . many employers told their workers, don't even try to come in. these roads will not be clear by morning. another blast of winter, this time two dozen states slammed by a powerful storm. in kansas and missouri, blizzard like conditions. visibility near zero, and every snow plow and salt truck in the arsenal is out on the road around the clock.

>> it's almost a whiteout now, and it's early.

>> right. just imagine how it's going to be when we get the full effect of the storm on top of it.

>> reporter: cory is in a plow working the interstate, snow is falling so fast, he can barely keep up.

>> we have to be very cautious. it's dangerous out here.

>> reporter: a familiar landscape, highway accidents stalling traffic and concerns the situation could worsen.

>> the wind picks up, we may see drifting, and that would be our greatest challenge.

>> in arkansas, ice was the culprit. the assault began early this morning, freezing rain and snow made roadways treacherous. a tractor-trailer toppled during rush hour, and trees and power lines took a hit, leaving almost 50,000 customers without heat and electricity in the bitter cold. from blowing snow in oklahoma to ice in pennsylvania. people across the country hunkered down, in kansas city , they all but rolled up the sidewalk. almost everything closed.

>> 10, 12 inches of snow is quite a bit of snow for kansas city . we don't get these very often but we're prepared.

>> what seems like an endless winter wears on, salt piles are thinning, with at least a half a foot of snow on the ground and falling. wichita is using sand on the roads for now.

>> i think most people are staying home, that's what i would recommend to anyone. if you don't have to be out here, don't.

>> good advice, as the snow moves out, temperatures are plummeting. we're going to have windchills below zero by morning, and roads that are snow covered right now could be sheets of ice tomorrow. brian?

>> janet shamlian starting us off in kansas city tonight. thanks.

>> al roker is here with us again tonight with more on this storm, and then there's the next one after this.