(NECN/ABC) - Frustration is falling by the foot in what forecasters are calling the I-40 Storm, named after the conditions along that busy corridor.
Ice in Oklahoma City grounded planes, and cars were not a much better alternative. Snow plows and salt truck were on the frontlines of defense.
For the 17 states currently under winter storm warnings or watches, now is the winter of their discontent.
The heavy ice and sleet forced the governor of Oklahoma to declare a state of emergency.
Falling tree branches snapped powerlines and cut service to 132,000 customers. Companies from neighboring states are sending crews across the border to help.
"There's going to be people in their houses where it's cold and dark, and we'll be able to fix that," Paul White, a lineman for KC Power & Light, said.
People will need heat in the northeast, where temperatures are plunging rapidly and there are wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour.
In upstate New York, several inches of lake-effect snow closed schools.
In the town of Hallowell, Maine, an ice jam flooded the Kennebec River.
By this weekend, this one storm system will affect almost 2,000 miles of the country from New Mexico to the Carolinas -- even parts of the deep South.
ABC's Linsey Davis reports in the video player above.