January 6

Most dangerous temps in decades push across US

By Rick Callahan And Steve Karnowski
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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A pedestrian makes his way along a snow packed street in Indianapolis Monday as temperatures hovered around 10 below zero. More than 12 inches of snow fell on Sunday.

The Associated Press

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A Delta plane is deiced at Chicago Midway International Airport Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Chicago. The bitter weather comes after a heavy snowstorm hit much of the region last week. More than 400 flights were cancelled at Chicago’s airports Monday.

AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato

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More than 3,700 flights were canceled by late Monday afternoon, following a weekend of travel disruption across the U.S. Airline officials said de-icing fluid was freezing, fuel was pumping sluggishly, and ramp workers were having difficulty loading and unloading luggage. JetBlue Airways stopped all scheduled flights to and from New York and Boston on Monday. Southwest ground to a halt in Chicago earlier in the day, but by the evening, flights resumed in "a trickle," a spokesman said.

Authorities in Indiana and Kentucky — where temperatures dropped into the single digits and below, with wind chills in the minus 20s and worse — warned people not to leave their homes unless they needed to go someplace safer.

The company that operates the power grid supplying energy to more than 61 million people in parts of the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and South asked Monday night that users conserve electricity because of the cold, especially in the morning and mid-afternoon.

Meanwhile, utility crews worked to restore power to more than 40,000 Indiana customers affected by the weekend storm and cautioned that some people could be in the cold and dark for days.

Ronald G. Smith Sr. took shelter at an Indianapolis Red Cross after waking up the previous night with the power out and his cat, Sweet Pea, agitated.

"The screen door blew open and woke me up, and it was cold and dark. I got dressed and I was scared, thinking, 'What am I going to do? My cat knew something was wrong. He was jumping all over the place," Smith said.

Officials in Chicago and other cities checked on the homeless and shut-ins for fear they might freeze to death on the street or in their homes.

Between a heater that barely worked and his drafty windows, Jeffery Davis decided he would be better off sitting in a downtown Chicago doughnut shop for three hours Monday until it was time to go to work.

He threw on two pairs of pants, two T-shirts, "at least three jackets," two hats, a pair of gloves, the "thickest socks you'd probably ever find" and boots, and trudged to the train stop in his South Side neighborhood that took him to within a few blocks of the library where he works.

"I never remember it ever being this cold," said Davis, 51. "I'm flabbergasted."

Only a few hardy souls braved the cold on the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, normally a busy pedestrian area. Many people downtown used the extensive heated skyway system, where it is warm enough to walk around in office attire.

Nearly all stores on the skyway were open as usual. Jersey Devil Pizza & Wings was not.

"Apologies ... We are East Coast wimps. Too cold! Stay safe, see you Tuesday," read a sign taped to the door.

 

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Leroy Griffis, a maintenance supervisor for the Flint Downtown Development Authority directs a snowplow to an assignment where he will clear streets early Monday in downtown Flint, Mich., where a recorded 16.2 inches of snow fell.

The Associated Press

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Commuters arrive at the La Salle Street commuter rail station as they experience temperatures well below zero and wind chills expected to reach 40 to 50 below on Monday in Chicago.

The Associated Press

 


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