At least 10 dead as Arctic cold strains resources in US Midwest


He was not wearing a hat or gloves and wasn't dressed for below-zero temperatures.

And these cities are not alone with freezing cold temperatures as 75% of the continental United States will be below freezing at some point this week, affecting 90 million people.

Almost 90 million people will experience temperatures at or below zero degrees this week from the Midwest to New England, according to the National Weather Service, and 25 million of those will face temperatures below minus-20 Fahrenheit (-28 degrees Celsius).

City crews braved sub-zero weather to fix a number of frozen water main breaks that plagued Motor City neighborhoods. Minnesota recorded a shocking temperature of -77 degrees, and Chicago was a balmy -23.

It said a historic low temperature for IL of -38F (-39C) had been reported in the town of Mt Carroll and was being reviewed before being declared a state record.

The agency predicted temperatures to remain 25 to 45 degrees below average through Thursday, with wind chill values as low as -25 to -55 degrees Fahrenheit (-32 to -48 Celsius). 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.

In Minnesota and Upper Michigan, temperatures will be at minus 20 on Thursday and parts of North Dakota can expect minus 30, forecasters warned. But students headed back to school Thursday in eastern North Dakota, where the weather was forecast to crawl out of double-digit subzero temperatures.

Record low temperatures were also reported in some towns in Iowa and Wisconsin.

More than 2,500 flights were cancelled for Thursday and there were hundreds of traffic incidents across a number of states. As of Thursday morning, about 1,700 flights in and out of Chicago's airports had been cancelled over the previous 24 hours. Milwaukee had similar conditions. 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 to protect against the extreme chill, which froze ice crystals on eyelashes and eyebrows in minutes.

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The Postal Service took the rare step of suspending mail delivery in many places, and in southeastern Minnesota, even the snowplows were idled by the weather.

The cause of the sub-zero chill was a swirl of arctic air that broke away from the polar vortex that usually encircles the North Pole.

At least eight deaths have been linked to the system, including an elderly IL man who was found several hours after he fell trying to get into his home.

The weather-related deaths included an elderly IL man who was found several hours after he fell trying to get into his home, an OH woman found in a vacant home, and a University of Iowa student found dead behind an academic hall.

Officials warned Chicago residents, accustomed to chilling winters, to expect an unusually deep and unsafe freeze.

Natural gas supplies were under threat in MI and Minnesota, where authorities asked residents to reduce their heat consumption if at all possible.

As Chicago residents hunker down inside, the weather is having an effect on the city's natural attractions. By the weekend, Chicago was expected to bask in snow-melting highs in the mid-40s to low 50s Fahrenheit, along with other parts of the Midwest.

Amtrak canceled scores of trains to and from Chicago, one of the nation's busiest rail hubs.