Arctic winter blast to hit parts of the Midwest

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December 5, 2013, 6:24 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Leanne Gregg) - Slippery conditions in parts of the Midwest are about to get worse.

An arctic blast is moving across the nation and has already dumped heavy snow in the Rockies and upper Midwest, bringing dangerously cold temperatures that are also expected to cause a crippling ice storm.

Its path is from Dallas to Little Rock, on to Memphis into the Ohio valley, and even as far north as Cleveland.

Crews in a dozen states are gearing up for the storm. The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department says more than a thousand employees are ready.

"We'll be spreading a chemical and abrasive mixture. Basically it's a mixture of sand and salt,” Randy Ort of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said.

Rain is expected to turn to ice overnight causing treacherous conditions.

Utility companies warn the storm has the potential to cause widespread power outages, knocking out power for days. Grocery stores have been packed with customers stocking up before hunkering down. The continued cold means ice and snow won't be melting soon.

In Denver today, temperatures dropped to minus 15, tying the record set in 1972.

Still two weeks from winter, an early storm being felt by more than half the country.

Tags: weather, winter storm, Midwest, Leanne Gregg
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