The threat of a huge winter storm has prompted panic and preparations along the East Coast as the head of the National Weather Service said today that tens of millions of people could be effected. In addition to those impacted by the snow, an additional seven million people could be impacted by ice and other dangerous conditions, NWS director Louis Uccellini said today. “You put all the ingredients together, you can get a storm like this and it’s happening in real time,” he said. Residents in at least a half-dozen states are being warned to keep their travel plans light and prepare for potentially damaging winter weather starting early this weekend.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said today that there have already been two fatalities as a result of the dangerous weather conditions. One person died in Forsyth County after the car they were driving slid across a highway median because of slick roads. The second death occurred in Stokes County where similar icy and snowy road conditions caused a car to go down an embankment. FULL REPORT