Nightly News   |  February 13, 2014

Biggest Snowstorm in 4 Years Hits Mid-Atlantic

The latest winter blast turned some cities into virtual ghost towns, dumping heavy, wet snow -- and ice -- along a 1,500-mile stretch from Mississippi to Maine.

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

>>> good evening, it has been 11 days now since the real groundhog day , and yes, it feels like groundhog day with as many nights as we have had to come on the air and report the latest severe winter storm . and yet as we stand here tonight in the mild weather in russia, this storm which viewed from space continued to explode today as it made its way northeast. this storm has caused real suffering, 100 million americans in its path, affecting 17 states, air travel affected, and the statistics hovered in the millions. we have tom costello in a city virtually shut down all day. washington, d.c. getting what we hope is the last of the snow, tom, good evening.

>> reporter: well, i hope so brian, good evening to you. this is the most snow that we've seen in d.c. since snowmageddon back in 2010 . we have snow to the northwest of us and guess what? it is snowing again. another two to four inches tonight. yet again this winter, washington is shut down. but this one you can blame on a wintry blast, turning the city into a virtual ghost town , the biggest storm hitting the city with more in the suburbs. at 7:00 a.m ., many were finding the highways very dangerous.

>> we slide all over the roads, as big as these trucks are and we're sliding.

>> reporter: before it is all said and done the massive snow will have dumped snow and ice along a huge stretch. in virginia, tragedy before sunrise when a highway worker was hit and killed by a department of transportation dump truck . all morning, up and down the coast, the big digout was under way. so this is what i woke up to this morning. 15 inches of snow in my driveway. and then sleet. just clearing all of this has taken me the better part of 90 minutes . but digging out does not come without risks.

>> we can size it for you a little bit.

>> reporter: in the er here today, they were treating snow-related injuries including a woman who had slipped and broken her leg. and in this er, more snow-related injuries than they had ever seen.

>> broken arms, legs, ankles, we've seen some folks who took a bad fall and struck their head.

>> reporter: and this kind of snow has a nickname. heart attack snow. i know because i did this earlier today. this is wet, heavy snow.

>> i know, i heard you are not supposed to lift it but i don't know how you get it out of the way without lifting it.

>> reporter: the snow affected reagan international and dulles airports, 6500 flights cancelled with many airports deserted.

>> we haven't gotten out yet, but if we do i'll have a nice drink on the plane to celebrate.

>> reporter: in pennsylvania , where george washington once spent a rough winter, today, the home depot was under attack.

>> sold out of shovels, salt.

>> reporter: and for much of the mid-atlantic a celebrated day off school and just enough snow to keep many of them out on a friday, as well. pennsylvania has now broken a 140-year record. they have now had at least four snowfalls of six inches or more. brian, in parts of pennsylvania there are now up to 50 inches of snow for the reason, by the way, in delaware and pennsylvania , the national guard now called out. back to you.

>> and tom, you have more shoveling to do i'm afraid when you get home. thank you for being out in it all day to report our lead story. tom costello