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Winter storms across country put transporation at a standstill

A treacherous deep freeze is blanketing much of the country in ice and snow. Tens of thousands are stranded in airports, deadly pileups along the nation's highways.

ABC's Lana Zak has the latest on the damage so far and how long this winter storm is expected to last.

Winter is still 2 weeks away, but in Plano, Texas, ice was flying through the air in giant sheets, even crushing this car below.

Football fans in Philly endured more snow this weekend than all winter last year.

And for drivers from Arizona to the Midwest--this dangerous mix of snow and  ice trapped tens of thousands. Including one truck driver stuck for 26 hours with his wife and daughter.

"I have not moved one foot from exit 380 in 11 hours. I have never seen it ever just at a complete standstill."

At a standstill, parts of Texas, usually so warm stores don't even carry snow-shovels. The Department of Transportation forced to take extreme measures.

"At times, we're leaving our vehicles and shoveling sand and salt by hand to get those vehicles," one worker said.

 And flying is no better.  More than 1,500 flights already cancelled today.  Add that to the 2,800 flights cancelled on Sunday and you find passengers marooned at airports, sleeping on the floor uncertain when they will ever get out.

"I don't know when I'm going to leave here  and I don't know what I'm going to do especially I have baby with me and it's all I care about him."

And a cruel reminder that this is only the beginning of our winter weather. Forecasts predict another storm coming out of the Great Lakes will wreak havoc from the mid-Atlantic to the Northeast.