"Storm of the Century" Buries Nation Under Ice and Snow

"Storm of the Century" Buries Nation Under Ice and Snow

A third of the nation was buried under a 2,000-mile-wide blanket of snow and ice on Wednesday. The epicenter of what is being called "The Storm of the Century" is Chicago, Illinois, where a colossal blizzard caused whiteout conditions throughout the city. Dozens of vehicles, stuck in the snow and ice, were abandoned on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive, where fire and ambulance crews took to using snowmobiles to rescue motorist who were trapped for hours.

Surveillance cameras captured the moment a store roof collapsed under the weight of snow; store staff escaping just in time.

Cars slid out of control on sheets of ice, but the ice is not just a problem for vehicles. For millions of Americans, just walking down the street without falling became a challenge.

INSIDE EDITION has some tips to help you avoid serious injury on the ice.

Reporter Diane McInerney asks orthopedic surgeon Dr. Alton Baron, "Is there a safer way to walk on the ice?"  

"Absoulutely, you don't want to take long strides, which many New Yorkers do. This is not the time to rush, you need to slow your step down and broaden it a bit, and take stutter steps, " said Dr. Baron.

"What is the best way to fall on the ice?" McInerney asked.

Dr. Baron said, "You want to try to have as many body parts strike the pavement in sequence  or at once to spread the impact."

You can even buy "snow tires" for your shoes. They're called YakTrax and they give you extra traction. YakTrax cost about $20 and are simple to use. They are made of steel coils and they conform to your shoe.

But the big freeze is just another source of humor for the late night comics!

 "About a third of the country is covered in snow...America is starting to look like Charlie Sheen's coffee table right now," joked Jimmy Kimmel.

Late Show host David Letterman said, "We've had snow from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes. Wait until next month, ladies and gentlemen, when we'll get hit with the frogs and the locusts!"