Ice storm, severe chill affects millions in central U.S.

Severe chill affects millions in central U.S.... 02:05

(CBS News) A massive storm is slamming the central U.S., and millions of Americans from the Southern Plains to the Midwest are coping with frigid temperatures, snow and ice.  Travel is dangerous for drivers in southern Illinois, and heavy snow is blanketing highways already made slick by ice.

The storm is battering Arkansas with freezing rain and sleet, and in Texas, they're calling today "Ice Friday."  

It's hard to believe that earlier this week temperatures in the state of Texas were in the 80s. Now, residents are finding themselves battling the same frigid blast that's hitting much of the country.

The nasty mix of freezing rain and sleet began falling across parts of Texas on Thursday, leaving cars and streets coated with slick ice.

Forecasters expect up to a half-inch of freezing rain in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with the wintry system also dumping snow in some spots.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled, and drivers are being warned to stay off the roads.

Despite warnings of dangerous driving conditions and the efforts of salt trucks, dozens of spin-outs and accidents have already been reported.

Even after the freezing rain and snow passes, temperatures are expected to stay below freezing, meaning residents will likely have to battle the icy roads through the weekend.