See the Chicago River Freeze and 'Smoke' Amid Frigid Winter Weather

See the Chicago River Freeze and 'Smoke' Amid Frigid Winter Weather

A young man waits on a subway platform in freezing temperatures on January 30, 2019 in NY.

A 70-year-old man was also found dead in Detroit in front of a neighbor's home on Wednesday.The polar vortex in the Midwest came on the heels of major Winter Storm Jayden that dumped up to a foot of snow on the region over the weekend and was to blame for at least five deaths.

A rapid thaw seemed imminent. What is new though is that this time, forecasters are predicting air temperatures will drop to their lowest levels since 1994. "Extreme and risky COLD!"

In western NY, a storm that dumped up to 20 inches of snow (51 centimetres) was over by Thursday but gave way to subzero temperatures and unsafe wind chills. The arctic conditions caused problems from Buffalo to Brooklyn, where about 200 firefighters battling an early morning blaze in a commercial building took turns getting warm on buses. No foul play was suspected, police said.

At least 5 deaths related to extreme cold weather have been reported since Saturday in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, local media reports said.

Hundreds of public schools and several large universities from North Dakota to Pennsylvania canceled classes Tuesday or planned to do so Wednesday.

The blast of polar air also strained infrastructure with some of the lowest temperatures in a generation. Crews in Detroit will need days to fix water mains that burst Wednesday. As of Thursday morning, about 1,700 flights in and out of Chicago's airports had been cancelled over the previous 24 hours.

There are wind chill warnings across the state and Chicago is expected to set a record for the coldest high temperature not getting above -14°C today. It was -29C in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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America's third city Chicago - where the morning temperature was -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 Celsius), which felt like -50 degrees (-46 Celsius) with wind chill - was colder than Alaska's state capital and even colder than parts of Antarctica.

The lowest temperature recorded that day was minus 40 in International Falls, Minn., just south of Canada. Central Time, breaking the record of minus-27 set on January 20, 1982. Some buses were turned into mobile warming shelters to help the homeless in Chicago. The hardiest commuters ventured out only after covering almost every square inch of flesh against the extreme chill, which froze ice crystals on eyelashes and eyebrows in minutes.

A bone-chilling polar vertex has plunged the Midwest, stretching from the Dakotas through ME, into a wave of dangerously cold Arctic air.

At least eight deaths were linked to the system, including an elderly IL man who was found several hours after he fell trying to get into his home and a University of Iowa student found behind an academic hall several hours before dawn.

Natural gas supplies were under threat in MI and Minnesota, where authorities asked residents to reduce their heat consumption if at all possible. By Thursday, Consumers Energy said it was "cautiously optimistic" its requests to curb natural gas use were "having a positive effect".

Hundreds of flights, more than half of those scheduled, were canceled on Wednesday out of Chicago O'Hare and Chicago Midway worldwide airports, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware.

Pipes laid a century ago have far exceeded the life span for which they were designed, said DiLoreto, who described the aging process as "living on borrowed time". A siren got stuck, contributing to the bedlam. "They're snuggled in, warm and toasty".

"You could see the look on their faces". A few days of cold don't change the overall trend.

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