Icy roads a lingering hazard from deadly Southeast pre-winter storm

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Millions of people across the South faced another dangerous morning commute Tuesday after a pre-winter storm over the weekend.

Temperatures dropped into the 20s overnight from Texas to Virginia.

The frigid weather turned runoff water in many areas into hazardous black ice.

Highway crews from Georgia to Virginia were working around the clock to keep roads safe, reports CBS News correspondent Meg Oliver.

The storm dumped up to two feet of snow in some parts of the Southeast and was being blamed for at least three deaths.

Many schools were closed or opening late Tuesday morning.

And more than 75,000 homes and businesses were still without power.

North Carolina Department of Transportation Engineering Technician Jason Dunigan said he has "a major concern about every road. … It doesn't matter what we get off the road … it's still gonna be wet. Every road's gonna have ice."

North Carolina highway crews spread more than 13,000 tons of salt across highways. 

But that didn't stop hundreds of vehicles from losing control and even overturning. State Police in North Carolina and Virginia said they responded to nearly 2,000 crashes combined. 

"Our roads are dangerous," said North Carolina Highway Patrol Commander Glenn McNeil. "Black ice can sneak up at a moment. So please be careful if you must be out and about."

The weekend's historic storm across the Southeast dropped as much snow in about a day as many areas see yearly.

The heavy snowfall caused rooftops to collapse, including one on a farm near Charlotte, killing three horses.

Also working through the night: power crews, who continued their push to restore electricity to thousands of customers.

Alison Klaitman and her family lost power about two days ago when a tree crashed onto the power lines outside their home in Chapel Hill.

"We were very lucky" the tree didn't hit the house, she said. "Thankfully, we have a wood-burning fireplace, we've got a gas stove, and lots of good neighbors to help out."

Although snow storms are rare in the region, one of the last big ones was nearly two decades ago, when Raleigh received 20 inches of snow.

But that storm was in January. Winter this time around is still officially ten days away.