A deadly accident ties up Interstate 81 all day...
We'll have a live report on the latest..
Those stories are just ahead on News 7.
In sports, The Jaguars win the first ever playoff game at home The Panthers are close to naming a new head coach.
And second ranked Duke wins the battle for the top spot in the A-C-C.
The Storm is long gone, but it's leaving the coldest air of the season behind.
Details on a frigid forecast are just ahead.
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A deadly accident ties up Interstate 81 for hours, and the delays will run into the evening.
Good evening, I'm Eric Earnhart.[81-Accident]
[GRAPHIC=I-81 Deadly Accident]
The new year is only three days old, but today's accident on 81 is sure to be one of the worst we'll see all year.
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It happened in the northbound lanes near 8 this morning near mile marker 184, the Buffalo Creek bridge. That's in Rockbridge County, not far from Lexington.
A look from above gives the best indication of just how bad it was.
Rescue crews have been working more than ten hours now to get victims out and clear away the wreckage.
At last check, V-DOT reports four people are confimed dead, and more than three dozen are injured.
Interstate 81 was blocked northbound all day, sending detoured traffic on US 11 through Lexington.
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[GRAPHIC=Interstate 81 Deadly Accident]
Our David Johnson has been at the scene all day, and he joins us now with the very latest.
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(Rollcue: "...in the wreck.")
[SUPER=01-Oscar Orallanin/Victim; :00]
[SUPER=03-Rockbridge Co.; :14]
[SUPER=01-Cpt. Charles Compton/Va. State Police; :40]
[SUPER=01-Joe Revard/Natural Bridge Fire Chief; 1:19]
[OUT Q=to deal with.]
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[Double Boxes=Eric & David/Starlink;][L'burg-Acc]
Three people were hurt this morning in a pile-up on the Carter-Glass Bridge south of Madison Heights, near Lynchburg.
It started around 9 when a woman headed south on Rt 29 began sliding on the ice then stopped her vehicle in the middle of the road.
Another motorist stopped to help her move to the side of the highway, but by then other cars began sliding to avoid them.
A tractor trailer jack-knifed side-swiping this Jeep Cherokee.
Both persons in the jeep and the truck driver were trasported to Lynchburg General Hospital.
Their injuries are not believed to be serious.
A much different set of problems for firefighters in Wytheville today, after a major natural gas pipeline exploded overnight, sending flames 300 feet into the air.
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It happened shortly after 2-AM, about 75 miles west-southwest of Roanoke.
Teresa Hamilton and photographer Mark Hollandsworth take us to the scene.
[IN Q=Wythe County]
[SUPER=01-Kendra Eastwood/Wytheville Fire Fighter; :24 quick!!]
[SUPER=01-Donnie Widner/Ivanhoe Fire Fighter; :31]
[SUPER=01-Ikey Davidson/Wytheville Deputy Fire Chief; 1:01]
[SUPER=01-Jody Mitchell/East Tennessee Natural Gas Co.; 1:12]
[OUT Q=NEWS 7, Wythe Co.]
Wythe County fire fighters hope they're never face to face with a blaze quite like this one.
The explosion sent flames at least 300- feet into the air.
Yet it wasn't the flames--rather the heat that eventually caused a nearby house and motorcycle shop to catch fire.
A videocamera inside a Wytheville police car captured the images.
[NAT SOUND 5:26:22:03]
[IN Q=I've ]
((KENDRA EASTWOOD/FIRE FIGHTER:I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS.
THE HEAT WAS INTENSE? YES, IT MELTED THE STICKER ON MY HELMET. ))
[OUT Q=my helmet.]
[IN Q=It was]
((DONNIE WIDNER/IVANHOE FIRE FIGHTER: IT WAS REAL BRIGHT, LIKE DAY LIGHT, YOU COULD SEE IT, I WAS TALKING TO ONE OF THE FIRE FIGHTERS, YOU COULD SEE IT 10- MILES DOWN THE ROAD. ))
[OUT Q=down the road.]
It would take fire fighters several hours to gain the upper hand.
That's because, before water could do any good, they had to first stop the supply of gas that was fueling the blaze.
Gas company officials were able to do this by closing off valves some 30- miles, in both directions, to lower the gas pressure.
This allowed the fire to die down enough to go in and turn off the valves at the site.
[IN Q=It died ]
((IKEY DAVIDSON /DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF: IT DIED DOWN A LOT... BURNING MOSTLY THE GAS OUT OF THE LINES BUT IT WAS STILL REAL HOT, ONE OF OUR MEMBERS YOU COULD SEE THE SMOKE COMING OFF THE BACK OF HIS COAT. ))
[OUT Q=his coat.]
[IN Q=How scared]
((HOW SCARED WERE YOU? JODY MITCHELL/EAST TENNESSEE GAS CO.:OH, NOT AT ALL, HADN'T DONE IT BEFORE BUT I WAS WITH THE FIRE DEPARTMENT FELT VERY COMFORTABLE WIT THEM AND WHAT THEY KNEW THEY WERE DOING AND THEY PUT UP A BLANKET OF WATER FOR US. ))
[OUT Q=for us.]
At around 10 AM-- the fires were nearly out-- and those here at the scene could begin cleaning up and trying to figure out what happened.
Two fire fighters received minor injuries--
Which those on the scene say was a miracle-- considering the enormity of the situation they were called to deal with.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Wytheville.
Gas company officials hope to restore gas to the Wytheville area by late this evening...
They are still trying to determine what caused the explosion.[Roanoke-Gas]
With the rupture of the natural gas line in Wytheville, Roanoke Gas lost part of its supply, but service to customers in the Roanoke Valley was never interrupted.
Roanoke is served by two natural gas lines, so when the East Tennessee Natural Gas Transmission System shut down service, Roanoke Gas increased the flow from its second supplier, Columbia Natural Gas.
The utility also brought its own storage facilty in Botetourt County into service.
[IN Q=So we simply]
((ART PENDLETON/ROANOKE GAS CO.: SO WE SIMPLY SHUT THE EAST TENNESSEE LINE IN, TOOK ALL OF OUR FEED FROM COLUMBIA, BROUGHT ON OUR LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS FACILITY AND WE BASICALLY SAW NO CHANGE IN PRESSURES THROUGHOUT. IT'S THE TYPE OF SITUATION THAT WE TRAIN ON ON A REGULAR BASIS, AND OUR EMPLOYEES RESPONDED FANTASTICALLY, SO I'M VERY PLEASED.))
[SUPER=01-Art Pendleton/Roanoke Gas Co.]
[OUT Q=so I'm very pleased.]
The East Tennessee Natural Gas System restored service on its main line this morning, and Roanoke Gas has returned to normal operation.
Well the worst of our weather is over, for now. But there could be more trouble ahead.
Andrew Freiden is here with out first look at the weather.
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[Andrew tosses to Eric]
As you have no doubt noticed, weather concerns have already led some area school districts to delay or cancel classes tomorrow.
We'll keep showing them throughout the evening, and we'll add any new closings or delays just as soon as they are phoned in to us.
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And make sure to get the very latest information on News 7 Mornin' tomorrow between 6 and 7 AM.[Tease#1]
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The winter weather took US by storm, but many others have it much worse.
Still ahead on News 7, a look at how people are feeling aftermath, coast to coast.
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Virginians were not the only ones scraping their sidewalks and driveways today. Winter weather caused much of the nation to slow down, and in some cases, stop altogether.
Maureen Maher has the details.
[SUPER=03-New York; :35]
[SUPER=03-Los Angeles; :52]
[SUPER=01-Maureen Maher/CBS News; 1:16]
They started digging out early Sunday - the day after the second biggest
snowfall in Chicago's history..
Nearly 22 inches of snow fell in less than 24 hours, leaving several
people dead and thousands without power...
Runways once buried beneath ice and snow at the nation's busiest airport
re-opened Sunday - but by then Chicago's O'Hare looked like a make-shift
(MOS) "We're just trying to make arrangements, whatever flight we can
get on, at this point."
(MOS) "We just want to get to the East Coast."
But that may difficult. The same weather system that buried the Mid-west
is now pounding the East Coast with buckets of rain and freezing ice.
(superNEW YORK CITY)
This 50-car pile up in New York, was one of several serious accidents.
In fact, travel troubles backed up commuters as far as the West Coast.
In southern Illinois and Iowa, clean-up from the wintery blast was made
all the more difficult by high winds and a plummeting mercury.
Still, Mid-Westerners are made of hearty stock. and some saw this snow
covered wonderland as pleasant diversion from harsh reality of winter.
(superMaureen Maher/CBS News) "But winter enthusiasts had better bundle
up - In a one-two punch, Mother Nature is following up Saturday's
pounding with bone chilling temperatures, falling well below zero with
the wind chill - and forecasters say old man winter could keep much of
the northern part of the nation in a deep freeze for the first full week
of the New Year. Maureen Maher, CBS News, Chicago."
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Taking a trip back in history .... is only a mouse click away.
Next on News 7, "Web Watch" takes us to the Civil Rights movement.
Sex offenders now have their records posted online in Virginia, and other criminals may be next...
And a new website takes you on a journey into the Civil Rights movement.
More in tonight's WebWatch.
[IN Q=The Virginia State Police.]
[SUPER=01-Sgt. Kathleen Miller/Connecticut State Police; :23-quick]
The Virginia State Police set up their sex offender registry website last week, only to have it practically shut down by heavy traffic... They weren't alone...
Connecticut also opened a site, and it two was shut down... and not all sex offenders have registered...as required by law.
[IN Q=we held off]
((SGT. KATHLEEN MILLER/CONNECTICUT STATE POLICE; WE HELD OFF ON ARRESTS UNTIL JANUARY, BUT NOW ARRESTS WILL BE MADE))
[OUT Q=arrests will be made.]
Virginia's Crime Commission also wants to post ORDINARY criminal records on the internet, the legislature will consider that suggestion this month.
Take a trip back into the history of the Civil Rights movement at the Nationl Park services Register of Historic Places. The "We Shall Overcome" exibit takes you to sites like Little Rock's Central High School... The Mason Temple in Memphis. And the WoolWorth 5 and Dime lunch counter in Greensboro.
The University Of Virginia medical school will use a 1.5 million dollar grant to creat a website to collect family histories. The data will help researchers understand how ailments like diabetes, heart disease and cancer pass from generation to generation.
For more information on these sites, click on webwatch, on the WDBJ website, at WDBJ7-dot-com.))
And coming up, Duke and Maryland battle in College Park this afternoon the N-F-L playoffs continued today.
And as expected, Randy Moss is the N-F-L rookie of the Year.
The A-C-C was in the basketball spotlight today as the second ranked Blue Devils of Duke traveled to College park to take on fourth ranked Maryland.
[SUPER=03-College Park, MD/JP-RAYCOM; :]
The Terps were out to avenge their worst home defeat in 29 seasons.
Maryland trailed by five but would cut the lead to three when Obino Ekeezie gets the offensive rebound and score to make it 28 to 25.
But the Blue Devils came right back William Avery makes the pass to Elton Brand for the basket to make it 30 to 25.
The Terps battled back Steve Frances drives to the hoop for the reverse layup and foul and the game was tied 37 to 37 at the half.
Duke would pull away early in the second half going inside to Brand for the jam to make the score 63 to 48.
Then Guard Trajon Langdon would take over the game
here he uses the jump stop and scores and Duke wins it 82 to 64.
The Roanoke College men's basketball team snapped a six game losing streak last night at the Bast Center.
Roanoke beats Juniata 78 to 72 in the Domino's Lewis-Gale Classic.
Paris Butler led the Maroons with 16 points.
Roanoke gets a test this evening taking on 8 and 1 Maryville at 7-thirty.
Mike Hollis booted four gield goals as Jacksonville advances in the N-F-L playoffs with a 25 to 10 win over New England.
[SUPER=03-Jacksonville, FL/CBS SPORTS; :]
The Jaguar fans getting ready for the big game.
Leading six to nothing on two field goals, Fred Taylor takes the handoff and scores on the 13 yard run to make it 12 to nothing Jags at the half.
The Patriots answered the call in the third quarter Scott Zolak hands off to Robert Edwards he scores from the one yard line to make it 12 to 7 Jags.
Jacksonville led 12 to 10 until early in the fourth
quarter when Mark Brunell goes to the air and hits Jimmy Smith on the 37 yard T-D strike and the Jaguars win it 25 to 10.
The victory over the Patriots sends Jacksonville to the Meadowlands next Sunday to take on the New York Jets.
In the N-F-C playoff game today the San Francisco 49-ers hosted the Green Bay Packers.
The game was in the third quarter and San Francisco was leading the game 20 to 17 in the fourth quarter.
We'll have all the highlights tonight at 11.
It wasn't a tough choice when the Associated Press N named its N-F-L Rookie of the year today.
Of course the man is Minnesota game breaking wide receiver Randy Moss.
Moss won the award receiving 44 votes from a nationwide panel of 47 sports writers and broadcasters.
Moss led the league with 17 touchdown receptions. He averaged 19 yards per catch.
Colt quarterback Payton Manning got two votes the other vote went to Jacksonville running back Fred Taylor
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