The bone-chilling cold is causing havoc across much of the country, from traffic accidents to some New Year’s Eve celebrations being canceled. And it’s expected to last into next week.
The subzero temperatures have left Niagara Falls covered in ice, but tourists are still braving the icy mist. Many saying the frozen falls are spectacular.
Old Man Winter is ringing in the New Year with an Arctic blast. The cold is being blamed for this 40-car pile-up on U.S. 31 in western Michigan and more than 1,000 car crashes in Minnesota.
“Cars were kicking up the snow which created a whiteout,” Muskegon County Police Chief David P. Wypa.
Subzero wind chills across half the country have made just going outside a dangerous endeavor. In Erie, Pennsylvania, roofs were no match for heavy snow. Since Christmas, Erie has gotten six feet.
The cold was felt even in snow-hardened cities like Chicago, where officials blamed the cold for at least two deaths. Lee Lane was getting by in a shelter.
“Imagine a person without this,” Lane said. “I can’t even imagine that. You would pretty much die in the street. You would freeze to death.”
The Salvation Army’s Tamika Rogers spent Friday checking on people at risk.
“It’s important because a lot of them don’t have the support ,” Rogers said.
It turned out to be too cold for the St. Louis winterfest at the Arch. The low temperatures forced the closure of the holiday skating rink. And even too cold for these thresher sharks that went into shock and died along Cape Cod.
In Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh looked forward to the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration but had a warning: “Watch out for signs of hypothermia and frostbite. In these very cold conditions frostbite can happen is as little as 30 minutes.”
Most New Year’s Eve celebrations will go on as scheduled, including here in New York, where about 1 million people are still expected, despite a wind chill low enough to freeze the fountain in Bryant Park.
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