TODAY | December 21, 2012
>> begin with the impact that the huge winter storm is having as people are just head ing off for the holidays. john yang joins us from chicago .
>> reporter: go a little north, little west and you get more than a foot of snow. this storm moves through and was blamed in the deaths of at least seven people. the sights and sounds of a region now firmly in the grips of old man winter. parts of wisconsin, a one-day snowfall of more than a foot.
>> they could have gave us a little bit at a time, let us ease into this big snowfall, but --
>> reporter: on the highways, it caused havoc. in iowa, white-out conditions led to a chain reaction of crashes involving more than 30 vehicles, killing at least two people.
>> we need to slow down. there will be times where you won't see the ice.
>> reporter: at airports, cancellations and delays for folks heading home for the holidays . high winds at the southern end of this storm caused damage in texas and alabama, where the national weather service confirmed an ef-1 tornado.
>> i just heard a boom real loud and then the tornado was like over my house, whirling over my house.
>> reporter: from texas to iowa, heavy winds and snow left tens of thousands without power. on their facebook page, wisconsin's green bay packers are once again asking fans to help shovel out lambeau field for sunday's game. the pay? $10 an hour. a record stretch of 290 days without snow.
>> it's about time we had some of this bad weather , huh? it's chicago . what can we expect?
>> reporter: with schools closed, kids got a chance to brush up on some essential wintertime skills. as the midwest digs out it's frigid temperatures and blustery winds today. savannah?
>> john yang in chicago , thanks.