The steering column is the shaft that connects the steering wheel to the steering gear assembly any damage to this will result in total loss of control of the vehicle. All noises should be checked out by a certified mechanic.
Yes, this would appear to be problematic.
The noise could be any number of things, but most likely something that may be dangerous.
I would suggest going to your dealer or a local firestone store to diagnose the problem.
I would make it a priority and take the car into a mechanic and have it checked out. IF you were driving the the steering column froze up you would be a grave danger. This might prevent you from steering properly.