tv ABC World News Now ABC December 27, 2010 3:05am-4:00am EST
currently wind gusts at about 26 miles per hour in new york city. boston has seen 35. we've seen even higher gusts than this. long island has gusts as hey as 60, 70 miles per hour. and that is just whipping around that wind, creating those blizzard-like conditions, at least for the next couple of hours. new york city really getting hit hard. treacherous travel out there all along the interstates and it looks like into boston, the worst is still yet to come. just for the morning rush hour, and eventually all the snow heading into maine as well. now back to you rob and mike. >> quick question here. when should folks in new york expect all the snow to finally be out of here? >> well, it's going to still be around the early part of the day but i think the worst of it will be ending after about 6:00 or 7:00. so people heading to work early on, you're going to be running into major problems. for the later part of the commute it may not be as bad. snow around through much of the day and blowing snow with that with the winds. >> ava, thanks a lot, appreciate that. out of massachusetts the governor could use the national guard, if necessary, because of
the state of emergency there. >> the snow's been falling at a dramatic rate in boston since last night. jeremy hubbard is there with the latest. good morning to you, jeremy. >> reporter: rob, mike, good morning. it's bad now and this isn't even the worst of it. the snow's been falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches every hour. in the overnight hours that is expected to double. 2 to 4 inches of snow falling here in and around boston overnight. forecasters are calling this a blockbuster storm unlike any the region has seen in several years. that's saying something. this region is used to a lot of snow. road crews are trying to get a leg up but it's a futile bear. overnight the northeast is going to bear the brunt of this storm. again up to 20 inches forecast here in boston and in the surrounding areas. the massachusetts governor declared a snow emergency. that's essentially an edict to stay off the roads at all costs if you can because of the danger, especially overnight when the whiteout conditions are expected to be at their worst. with air traffic tripled, major roads are already jammed with
holiday travelers trying to dodge this full assault of this storm. they are trying to get ahead of it, but again, that is an exercise in futility. ahead overnight the big issue is going to be power outages. emergency management officials are worried that with 30, 40, 50-mile-an-hour wind gusts will knock down electric lines and could cause massive power outages in this part of the country. it's is going to be a long night in new england and much of the country. >> jeremy showing a bit of the anderson cooper look, thanks jeremy. our coverage of the northeast blizzard does not end here. "american landscape" focuses on the snow that literally has buried new york, new jersey, as well as connecticut. that's coming up later this half hour. bad winter weather also stranded pe eed passengers in m. icy rain shut down the city's largest airport for nearly 15 hours. passengers complained there was no food, water or places for people to sit. the rain coated roads with ice. it also snapped utility lines. 14 hospitals lost power along with hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.
now we turn to a tragic accident in egypt that killed eight americans on a bus tour. that bus was on its way to a major archeological site when it ran into a truck parked on the side of a desert road. such accidents though are common in egypt because of bad roads and poor enforcement of traffic rules there. the accident injured nearly two dozen people, including the driver and the tour guide. a fleet of tug boats has finally been freed. a freighter which had been stuck in the detroit river since christmas eve. the ship ran aground, carrying 12,000 tons of coal and a crew of 17. it was on its way from cleveland to a power plant. the coast guard is trying to figure out exactly what caused that vessel to run aground. a unique entrepreneur in phoenix is looking to raise money and his heartbeat at the same time. >> phoenix, that sounds nice right about now. the 22-year-old is running an elliptical machine set up on the back of a pickup truck. he says he will not stop until he gets a sponsor for a
1,000-mile run to break the world record. >> wow. he wants to use the money from the run for his new communications business. until then, though, he will continue burning, get this, 750 calories an hour. i haven't burned that in the last month. we'll be right back. you go next if you had a hoveround power chair? the statue of liberty? the grand canyon? it's all possible ith a hoveround., tom: hi i'm tom kruse, inventor rand founder of hoveround., when we say you're free to see the world, we mean it. call today and get a free overound information kit, that includes a video and full color brochure. dennis celorie: "it's by far the best chair i've ever owned." terri: "last year, 9 out of 10 people got their hoveround for "little or no money." jim plunkitt: "no cost. absolutely no cost to me." breaking news...when you call today, we'll include a free hoveround collapsible grabber with
over the holidays many of us of course were able to see our friends and families. however, our brave men and women fighting in afghanistan did not have that kind of luxury. >> they of course use e-mail and video chat to keep in touch but they still rely on old-fashioned snail mail to bring them the comforts of home. mike boettcher has more from kandahar. >> reporter: ten decembers in ganls. ten christmases at war. and still the mail pours in. >> we've got candies! >> reporter: little notes. >> just a letter from my daughter. >> reporter: big gifts. >> court tv. >> reporter: tasty munchies. >> a bunch of junk food. >> reporter: silly things too.
4 million pounds of it in kandahar alone. the infantry has surged, now it's the mail room's turn. >> the days are really kind of like blending together, the more and more boxes there are. >> reporter: for a couple of days the army is focused on its own hearts and minds. just e-mail won't do. there's still something special about mail you can touch and hold. but moving millions of pounds of mail in the middle of a war has its challenges. and there's only one piece of equipment that can do the job. the venerable chinook. since 1966 in vietnam, it has been the army's christmas sleigh. the chinook carries all those letters, flying well above ieds, ambushes and gunfire. theirs is a risky job but so important this week. they skillfully slip their lumbering craft into tight spots and tough spots. all the way to the seeming edge of the earth. >> i'm sure everybody will be
happy after they see what we've brought them. >> reporter: letters as important today as they were ten years ago. mike boettcher, abc news, kandahar. >> and for several of these men and women over there, this is their second, third, fourth, even fifth tours. so all of the little creature comforts make it even more important. >> exactly. this time of year you want some connection to back home. family, friends. so it's hard work but they're making those reconnections which is important. >> it's better to hold it in front of you rather than check it out on a computer sometimes too. we are going to return to our top story in just a moment. >> of course that story is the huge and ongoing blizzard here in the northeast. literally has paralyzed the greater new york area. we'll have coverage when we come right back.
the northeast. >> by the time this blizzard finally blows out, some areas could have 2 feet of snow with drifting on top of all that. for more here is "american landscape" coverage from our affiliate here in new york, wabc. >> this is the news leader, channel 7 eyewitness news at 11:00. >> call it a holiday blizzard. the most powerful and widespread in years. >> it would have been nice to have a white christmas. but i think better late than never. >> reporter: this day after white christmas now has the tristate buried in snow, blown over by 50-mile-an-hour winds, shivering temperatures in the low 20s, and trying to navigate mother nature's vicious punch. not always successfully. >> a lot of accidents. i saw quite a bit -- a lot of skidding around. >> i'm not going home until monday night. >> a lot of coffee, a lot of five-hour energy drinks. >> reporter: and the worst isn't over yet. >> good evening. it's 11:00. i'm bill ritter. >> i'm sandra bookman. this winter blizzard having a
serious impact on transit in our area tonight. within the last few minutes the long island railroad shut down service in both directions. nothing is moving system-wide. the rails, simply overwhelmed by snow. josh is live. >> reporter: san drarks i just got off the phone with a spokesman for the railroad and here's the problem. i'm going to step out of the way and show you. the third rail that powers all these trains at various parts throughout the system, the snow has now reached the third rail. they've made the decision to stop all operations. america's largest commuter railroad stopped in its tracks, thanks to this monster storm. as nightfall descended, the gulf coast of long island looked more like the dark side of the moon. >> it's like poetry. except that you have to walk through it and get on a platform and get the train. >> reporter: iona was dreaming of her warm bed in brooklyn. she and her husband simeon took the railroad to long island this afternoon to attend their granddaughter's wedding. they left early but worried it
wasn't early enough. for much of the evening the nation's busiest railroad managed to run its regular schedule. as the storm progressed the delays started to pile up like the unrelenting snow. the howling wind made it impossible to keep sidewalks or roads clear. the public works crew, a losing battle to keep up with this storm. for private snowplow driver evan flynn it's the kind of night he dreams about. >> it's white money is the best i can describe it. the more fall that snows the more money i see. >> reporter: there are ten trains that had passengers on them when the railroad made this decision. they stopped in railroad stations. we're being told they are being turned around and slowly they'll go back to where they originated so that people will have a chance to go back to their points of departure. and possibly get home that way. of course, a developing situation in a storm that doesn't seem to want to end. we're live in long island,
eyewitness news. a state of emergency in new jersey, a situation made worse for folks who didn't heed the warnings to stock up on crucial supplies. because of the state's blue laws, many stores are closed and up the turnpike without a shovel. stores closed, highways impassable, most driveways blocked. andy field in sacken sack off route 4 for us tonight. >> reporter: the storm clobbered the state earlier today, continues to rain snow out here. some of the drifts in this parking lot here up to our waist in some parts here. power outages across the state. several hundred car accidents along the new jersey turnpike and the garden state parkway today. and things seem to be getting even worse. >> pretty tough. >> yeah, man. just crazy. look at that. >> reporter: along hackensack's route 4, some off-ramps impassable without a little help from your friends. even a few inches can stop two-wheel drive cars. strangers make sure they moved.
private plow drivers loving the snow. a blizzard of economic stimulus for their companies. you get a lot of calls today? >> a lot of calls today. people are calling, come and do my driveway. you get the people that call and say, don't come do my driveway, whatever you do, i'm in florida! >> reporter: hackensack's public works department chaining the volunteer ambulances. trucks racing to keep up with the storm. the city looking for a way to pay for all this. >> it's a tough -- for everybody right now budgets are very, very tight, money is very tight. so this is a definite hardship and tax on everybody right now. >> reporter: and the governor is telling all essential workers, all government workers, that they will be back at work tomorrow. they need them back at work. but they will be starting two hours later. we'll see exactly how many people actually get in and what the road conditions are really like in the morning. we're live in hackensack, andy field, channel 7 eyewitness news. >> mondays are never easy. this monday's going to be particularly nasty for a lot of
folks. >> my monday morning commute began at mid fountain manhattan where i live with my wife, and it was terrible. i mean, you had to walk in the middle of the street because the sidewalks are not plowed or cleaned off. this is a year where i had to walk by and you can see right now the picture. >> a lot of pictures at times square all in white, a mess across the entire area. hó
[ female announcer ] wake up time. but not for your eyes. they're still so tired-looking. with olay, challenge that with regenerist anti-aging eye roller. its hydrating formula with caffeine-conditioning complex perks up the look of eyes. it works in the blink of an eye. our two movies, one, two at the box office. "insomniac theater" time. i saw "littlgtttle fockers." >> well done. >> you checked out "true grit." >> i really enjoyed this. the plot fairly easy.
a 14-year-old little girl whose dad is murdered. she's a very -- obviously very young but headstrong, willed young girl, mature way beyond her 14 years. what she does is try to go on the trail of her dad's killer and solicits of help of a u.s. marshal played brilliantly by jeff bridges. he's so good in this role. also matt damon plays a texas ranger also on the trail of the same alleged murderer what here. take a listen. >> you've misjudged me if you think i'm silly enough to give you $50. >> i will see the thing done. >> you can't go after him. looking after a baby at the same time. >> i'm not a baby. >> we won't be stopping at boarding houses where there's warm beds and hot grub on the table. grabbing fast, eating light. sleeping on the ground. >> the coen brothers do it again, a great remake of a john
wayne cask. i give it 4 kernels here. entertaining movie, a great way to spend the holidays. >> i saw a comedy, the third installment of the "meet the parents" franchise. ben stiller, robert de niro, barbra streisand, a lot of blockbuster names in this one. this one really talks about ben filler's character greg focker becoming the patriarch of the family. it's similar to some of the other movies. let's listen to a clip as this dialogue between ben stiller's character and robert de niro's character. >> let go of the reins a little, okay? >> i'll let go greg when you show me once and for all that you have what it takes to lead. >> i am in control of my family, all right? if i give henry's permission to climb a wall, he can climb a wall. and i say it's okay, it's okay. because i'm in charge, all right? i'm calling the plays now. you've just got to step back and accept the fact that i have got this. >> woe! >> robert de niro plays ben
northeast nightmare. a dangerous blizzard blows up from the southeast. the tremendous snowfall and travel headaches. new weapon. the latest generation of police tasers. and a big debate over safety. and, bargain blitz. the post-holiday bonanza in the stores and what it means to the retail business. it's monday, december 27th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> yesterday i went out to try to beat the storm.
and i left a certain store here in manhattan. as soon as i left the flakes started to fly and people scurried. it was like they knew what was going to happen. >> it's still going on. that is our top story this morning, a crazy day in the northeast. feet of snow in some places out there. a monday morning nightmare for folks heading back after the christmas holiday. >> it's not over yet. all right. good morning, everybody, on this blustery monday. i'm mike marusarz in for vinita nair. >> i'm rob nelson. by the time the sun rises in the northeast on monday morning some areas as we said could see two feet of snow. >> blizzard conditions arrived in philadelphia and new york around midday sunday, and the harsh winds and rapidly falling snow shut down service at airports around the area, stopped amtrak trains between new york and new england. our coverage begins with abc's ron claiborne. >> reporter: conditions out here along the new jersey turnpike are absolutely terrible and they're continuing to go
downhill literally by the minute. the snow is coming downside ways driven by powerful winds. 35 miles an hour and even higher at times. over at newark airport on sunday, hundreds of travelers were being given the bad news that their flights were not taking off. they were trying to rebook flights. many of them said they called the airlines' 800 numbers and were hung up on, were getting no satisfaction there. some people waited on those phone lines for hours and eventually opted to go to the airport where they were waiting in line for hours. it would seem that flights certainly are not going to be back anywhere near normal, at least well into monday. and probably more likely on tuesday. now, a number of travelers decided to opt for the railroad service, figuring that would do better in inclement weather. those going between boston and new york were disappointed because amtrak services between those two cities, a very popular service, was cut off on sunday afternoon. during the worst of this snow
storm overnight, the snowfall expected to be coming down at a really strong ratef 2 inches or more per hour before this storm passes away from this region sometime on monday. ron claiborne, abc news, woodridge, new jersey. well, the storm that barreled all the way up the east coast and increased in intensity. >> our coverage continues now with meteorologist ava dinges live from accuweather.com. ava, it is an incredible storm the last 12, 15 hours. >> yes, good morning mike and rob. and such an incredible storm. as you mentioned earlier, this began in new york city on sunday mid-day. and it's still snowing so it's been more than 12 hours. with snowfall rates 1 to 2 inches per hour, you can see why new york city is going to be buried in about a foot of snow or more in localized areas. that's still going to be the case in boston as well and eventually as more of the snow moves into maine, that is their fate as well. it's not really snowing too far away from the coast. philadelphia has seen very heavy snow bands. just west of there, barely anything going on in harrisburg,
into state college. this is going to be the case. that all stays dry while this is the mess along the eastern seaboard. it's not just the heavy snow that we're talking about. it's the strong gusty winds and that's what's been causing blizzard-like conditions at times. new york city gusting at about 25 miles per hour. that's a bit of a break from the stronger winds they've seen. boston, your winds have increased at 43 miles per hour. so blizzard conditions right now in boston and this is going to continue to be that story even as we go throughout much of the day. for new york city a lot of this is going to start to taper off after about 6:00 or 7:00 a.m., good news for some people heading out later into the day. for the morning rush hour it is going to be an absolute nightmare. some roadways as you mentioned are impassable at this point. as we continue to see those travel concerns along i-95, building into boston, even making its way into maine. and this snow is going to continue very heavy in maine throughout much of the day. and it looks like, close your eyes if you don't want to see these accumulations, all in the areas of darker blue. that is 12 to 18 inches, if not
more. anywhere from new jersey, new york city, all the way into maine. much of that snow has already fallen in new jersey. new york city still picking up a couple more inches throughout the next couple of hours. boston still going to get another half foot. for maine, the bulk of it's still yet to come. that's going to be a problem throughout much of the day. please be careful if you plan to be driving outside. hopefully you don't have to be outside through today. now back to you, rob and mike. >> all right, ava, thanks a lot. as mentioned the storm system also left its mark on the southeast over the christmas weekend. historic snowfalls there. >> that's left an enormous amount of holiday travelers stuck in their tracks. as abc's david kerley reports that's only part of the story in philadelphia. >> reporter: well, this winter wallop is making it difficult to get home from the holidays. flights have been canceled all up and down the east coast corridor. and it's not just the airlines. the roads are treacherous as well. and in the south too. this is virginia, which missed a white christmas by a day, but
boy is it covered with snow. and the last time atlanta had a white christmas was in 1881, the year before an associate of thomas edison invented electric christmas tree lights. in north carolina, five inches of snow piling up in raleigh. asheville broke its record with 6 1/2 inches. another 2 1/2 on sunday. and all of this on the busiest travel day of the year with one in ten travelers taking to the roadways. >> if you can avoid being on the road, then don't travel. if you're flying, then try to book the next flight out. >> reporter: the hofstrand family trying to get home to north dakota slept in washington's airport overnight for an 8:00 a.m. flight. >> we went to get our boarding passes, and that one was canceled. the next one out was 8:00 p.m. we weren't so happy. >> reporter: they're not even sure their plane will arrive on time. >> just to keep a positive attitude because there's not that much we can do about it. >> reporter: the experts said delay your travel by a day but
it appears monday is going to be just as bad. folks may be stuck for a couple of days. david kerley, abc news, philadelphia international airport. rail travel on the northeast corridor has been stalled by the storm as well. amtrak has canceled train service from new york to maine due to the conditions. new york's long island railroad, the nation's largest commuter rail system, also suspended service. bus companies canceled routes up and down the east coast, stranding thousands of travelers. and in asheville, north carolina, the snow storm wasn't bad enough. crews also had to deal with an icy mess there after a water main broke. the spill blocked an interstate on-ramp. hundreds of homes had no water and that meant no showers and even limited cooking too. it could be later today before full service is finally restored. and our coverage of the blizzard continues throughout the morning on abc news. we'll have live coverage of the storm and the latest from accuweather on "america this morning" and "good morning america."
turning to politics, rahm emanuel is getting high-profile help in his run for the mayor of chicago. former president bill clinton will campaign on emanuel's behalf sometime next month. emanuel held various positions in the clinton administration, including senior policy adviser, director of special projects, and political director. he is the front-runner in the chicago mayoral race. president obama has just wrapped up the first weekend of his christmas vacation with his family in hawaii. he and the first lady took a break from their r and r to show appreciation to some of the men and women in uniform. abc's yunji de nies is with the president in honolulu. >> reporter: the president spent the day with a mix of business and relaxation. he and the first family attended church services at the marine corps base here on the island. earlier in the day he had a counterterrorism briefing. he also called saudi king abdullah, who congratulated him on getting s.t.a.r.t. through the senate. the president and first lady visited that same marine corps
base, spending more than an hour thanking troops for their service. the obamas have had a relaxing holiday so far with plenty of time for golf for the president and beach time together as a family. here in the islands we are expecting a few weather woes of our own. with heavy rain forecast for the next few days. but that wet weather won't spoil the president's holiday. the highs are expected to be in the upper 70s. yunji de nies, abc news, honolulu. >> not a bad assignment. >> no. >> you enjoy that, yunji. an indiana man is making the best out of all the snow that's fallen there. >> and instead of the snow man, rick horton made a giant rattlesnake out of all that snow. he took about five hours to sculpt it and had the finishing touches in several shades of spray paint. >> pretty impressive. >> that's cool, look at that thing. >> horton says his neighbors look forward to his creations every year. in the past he sculpted everything from a race car to a cat to an ipod. >>off got to make the best of it, right? you know?
the new tasers come with criticism. >> get on the ground now, get on the ground. >> reporter: tasers have been used in nearly every police department in the nation in the last ten years. they've been used more than 1 million times. and police claim they keep officers from being injured and save the lives of suspects. now an advanced generation of tasers has been introduced. weapons with more fire power. >> get on the ground! >> reporter: meant to address one of the occasional hazards of the original models. suspects getting back up after being tased. like all tasers the new models fire metal hooks into a suspect's clothing or skin delivering a 600-volt pulse. the charge causes muscles to contract, temporarily paralyzing them. the new model, the x3 handgun style taser, has three cartridges. the company says it's capable of subduing three suspects at once. it would also allow an officer, in theory, to deliver a triple
hit to one suspect. the new models are making the debate over safety and potential misuse even more urgent. >> they are so easy to abuse. they're inherently subject to abuse. >> reporter: amnesty international, a long-time critic of tasers, points to 400 deaths related to taser use. while many of those deaths are linked to other contributing factors, such as age or pre-existing illness, it's unclear how a cop on the beat would be able to identify an at-risk subject in the heat of the moment. one police chief says more testing has to be done before they buy into the new breed of tasers. >> when wear talking about new generations of technology, we need to know exactly what impact that has on the human body. >> reporter: taser says independent tests have shown the devices pose a very low risk. >> put your hands behind your back. >> reporter: and what are the many questionable uses of tasers. like this case in california where police tased a man on his own living room couch for refusing to comply. both the company and police say training is the key to avoiding
abuse. >> sir. >> reporter: as i learned when i tried and failed a simulation training exercise with the montgomery county maryland police. >> at this point in time you have no reason to tase him. there's no active resistance, he's just noncompliant. >> reporter: pierre thomas, abc news, washington. >> interesting. there have been cases around the country where suspects have been killed by taser guns as well. they say based on field experience they actually have a low risk of any kind of serious side effects or injuries like that. >> yeah. you talk about some of those independent studies such as the one in 2008, national institute of justice published, that says tasers are not completely risk-free. police point out the fact that when they're in the field, it's much less of a lethal option for them. >> probably best to avoid it altogether if you can. >> i'd agree with that. when we return, we'll remember a performer who made motown history. >> and the problem that could force octomom out of her home. "the skinny's" coming up next, stay with us.
and welcome back, everybody. hate to start off "the skinny" with a sad note. there was an overnight death in the music world. for those of you who follow soul music out there, all of you know this woman for sure. the soulful voice of teena marie. she passed away overnight apparently in her sleep. she was found by her daughter in her home. again, she passed away in her sleep at a young age. he was just 54 years old. she really kind of made history. she was one of the first white acts of motown. she was huge, won four grammy awards, had 13 studio albums, some of her big hits, 1984's "lover girl," "fire and desire." she did an incredible collaboration with rick james. those two made incredible music together. very tumultuous relationship. musically brilliant. 54 years old. they're not sure exactly what caused her death. we don't know just yet. they did say, some reports, she did suffer a seizure sometime
last month. obviously some questions how she passed. a clear loss to the music world. she really was one of a kind. broke a big racial barrier in music. she was called the ivory queen of soul. just an unforgettable voice. thoughts and prayers with her family this morning. >> from the passing of one iconic person to a completely different story. >> yes. >> iconic person in his own right. hugh hefner is engaged. he's back engaged again. >> in love again. >> i didn't say he was in love. he's engaged to a 24-year-old playmate. >> that's old for him. >> 24, i know. 24. she was in "playboy" last december. and hef tweeted this weekend, this is the happiest christmas weekend in memory. he said, yes, the ring i gave crystal -- her name is crystal harris by the way -- is an engagement ring. he didn't mean to make a mystery of it and a very merry christmas to all. this is hef's third marriage, if in fact it goes that far. hugh hefner is 84, she's 24.
but she's a playmate -- >> a 60-year gap. what do they talk about, what do they do? >> i can tell you what they do -- >> no, go ahead. >> let me say this. basically, i mean -- any one of his girlfriends or whatever goes on to do very big things. kendra wilkinson is now a reality star and she's made a lot of money doing her -- her thing. out of the notoriety of the reality show from hugh hefner. if he's happy and she's happy -- >> that's all that matters. if i could come back in another life i'd come back as hef. that man has lived the most incredible kind of life. hef, you keep on knocking them out, man. octomom back in the news. apparently this may not be the best holiday for her. she is way back on her mortgage payments. this guy who lent her money and her 14 kids to live in this house in california, apparently she's almost in debt to him in back mortgage payments by $500,000. she has until the end of this month to pay up, if not, he's going to evict her.
come january the 1st. she may be homeless for the holidays. octomom needs to pay up. >> you knew there was a problem a couple of weeks ago. we reported here in "the skinny" the octomom was having a garage sale to sell some of her items to try to make some money. apparently that was not as successful as she had hoped.
back to our top story on "world news now." most of you in the northeast, you know what that story is. travel is miserable in heavily populated areas of the northeast this morning because of a huge blizzard still going on. a state of emergency has been declared in new jersey. also hundreds of flights are grounded this morning in airports in philadelphia, new york and newark. passengers could literally be waiting for days. on top of that, bad weather in philly forced the nfl to postpone the eagles/vikings game until tuesday night. pennsylvania's governor disagreed with that decision. he says roads were passable and
subway service was normal. finally, if you were at a mall on sunday, for a split second you might have thought it was the day before christmas, not the day after. >> the day of many happy returns and a lot of bargain shopping going on. by the time sales are tallied, this could actually be the best shopping season in years. as clayton sandell now reports, stores, well, they needed the boost. >> reporter: on the day after christmas the sounds of sleigh bells are being replaced with the chirping of cash registers. shoppers are out in force, expecting good deals. >> it's not half off, i'm not messing with it. >> reporter: and they're finding them on everything from electronics to toys to clothing. jennifer suarez found bargains on jewelry and a leather jacket. >> a necklace. >> a shirt and a jacket. all for around $52. >> all 50% off? >> yeah. >> reporter: for retailers the numbers are finally heading in the right direction.
after a dismal drop two years ago. this year, sales are expected to reach more than $451 billion. >> the consumer felt confident enough to step up their spending this holiday season. >> reporter: here in southern california where it's sunny and warm, shoppers are hitting the malls. but on the east coast, it's a far different story. blizzards slamming eastern states threaten to keep millions of shoppers away from stores. >> if it wasn't a blizzard i'd be shopping. >> reporter: the good news is some of the best deals can be found online and out of the cold. besides weather, one downside for shoppers this year is that they may find fewer items on the shelves. after slow sales in previous years, many stores ordered less inventory this year. leaving slim pickings and frustrated shoppers. >> to find a good pair of jeans is kind of tough. >> reporter: the east coast will have to dig out before shoppers come back. but for retailers seeing their best season in years, the skies are already clearing. clayton sandell, abc news, los angeles. >> a lot of good deals out there. once this weather gets out of