50234

World  

'Dangerously cold'

Bitterly cold temperatures gripped much of the nation on Tuesday, testing the mettle of even winter-wise northerners and delivering a shock to those accustomed to far milder weather in the South.

The cold has been blamed for at least a dozen deaths, prompted officials to open warming centres in the Deep South and triggered pleas from government officials to check on neighbours, especially those who are elderly, sick or who live alone.

In St. Louis, where temperatures dipped 30 degrees below normal, Mayor Lyda Krewson warned it was "dangerously cold."

"It's important that people look out for anyone in need of shelter," she said.

The National Weather Service issued wind chill advisories and freeze warnings covering a vast area, from South Texas to Canada and from Montana to Maine. The arctic blast was blamed for freezing a water tower in Iowa, halting a ferry service in New York and even trapping a swan in a Virginia pond.

At the same time, a heatwave swept into the country's northernmost state: Anchorage, Alaska, tied a record high on Tuesday of 7 C — at the same time Jacksonville, Florida, was a mere 3 C.

Indianapolis Public Schools cancelled classes after the city tied a record low for the day — set in 1887 — of -24 C. The northwest Indiana city of Lafayette got down to -28 C, shattering the previous record set in 1979. Many local residents noticed a hum, which Duke Energy said was caused by extra power surging through utility lines to meet electricity demands.

Although temperatures have been lower in Indiana — the all-time low was -38 C in 1994 — the current frigid weather is unusual because of how long it's lasted, experts said.

"It has just been relentlessly cold since Christmas," said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground.

And it's nothing to trifle with, forecasters warned.

The cold has been blamed in at least 12 deaths in the past week. Police in St. Louis said a 54-year-old homeless man found dead in a trash bin Monday evening apparently froze to death as the temperature dropped to negative -21 C.

Two other suspected cold-related deaths occurred in Wisconsin: a 27-year-old woman's body was found Monday evening on the shore of Lake Winnebago, and a 57-year-old man was found dead Sunday in a parking structure in Madison.



More World News

World
50492
London Webcam
Webcam provided by webcams.travel
46573
Recent Trending
50637
Okanagan Oldies
48282
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
49740



47565