People from the Dakotas to the Carolinas were trying to start dealing with the necessary cleanup of debris on Thursday after a massive storm rolled across the country, leaving a path of destruction.
Heavy snow and strong winds battered the Dakotas for a second day Wednesday. Roads were covered by ice, snow and slush.
"It's not good to be out here for anybody," Highway Patrol Capt. Eric Pederson said. "It's just tough going anywhere."
The massive storm spawned tornadoes in North Carolina and snapped trees in half.
Eleven members of Yoland Corona's family were all watching television at their grandmother's house when the windows blew out of the living room. The chimney caved in, and a tree plunged through the roof.
"We thought we were going to die. We were just so scared. We didn't have time to do anything. We all just listened and prayed for our lives," 18-year-old Jessica Vargas, Corona's 18-year-old granddaughter, recalled Wednesday.
No one was seriously hurt, but now the family must find somewhere to live. The rare, fast-moving storm that destroyed their home started in the Midwest on Tuesday, moving into the southern and eastern U.S.
Tornadoes whirled through Racine County, Wis., where two people were injured when a section of roof was torn off a tractor factory, and in Peotone, Ill., where three people were injured when a home's roof came off.
Tornado watches and warnings were issued all across the country.
More than 200,000 homes were in the dark in northern Illinois after power lines were blown down.
In Ohio, some called it the worst storm they've seen in 25 years.
"It didn't last 2 minutes. Everything was torn to pieces," Suzanne Crawley said.
"It hit the roof and as it was sliding down, it hit the bedroom window, punched holes all the way through right into my bedroom," said Alena Reed.
The storm also affected air travel across the country. On Tuesday, 500 flights were canceled at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport due to high winds with gusts of up to 55 miles per hour.