The freezing rain from an ice storm covers everything with heavy, smooth glaze ice.
Ice-covered roads become slippery and hazardous, as the ice causes vehicles to skid out of control, which can cause devastating car crashes as well as pile-ups.
Pedestrians are severely affected as sidewalks become slippery, causing people to slip and fall, and outside stairs can become an extreme injury hazard.
In addition to hazardous driving or walking conditions, branches or even whole trees may break from the weight of ice. Falling branches can block roads, tear down power and telephone lines, and cause other damage. Even without falling trees and tree branches, the weight of the ice itself can easily snap power lines and also break and bring down power/utility poles; even steel frame electricity pylons have been sent crashing to the ground by the weight of the ice.
This can leave people without power for several days to a month.
According to most meteorologists, just one quarter of an inch of ice accumulation can add about 500 pounds of weight per line span. Damage from ice storms is highly capable of shutting down entire metropolitan areas.
Injuries due to ice and snow