Icy winds, heavy snowfall disrupt life in US

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A Polar Vortex at the North Pole has led to several US cities witnessing severe cold weather conditions with temperatures dipping in the Midwest and the Northeastern region to a freezing minus -41 degrees Celsius, while 125 million people remain under wind chill advisories.

At least 10 people have died due to weather-relation conditions, including three homeless persons in the Milwaukee area, according to media reports, the three deaths are being investigated as possible cases of hypothermia cases. The National Weather Service said temperatures could reach minus 30 degrees, with wind chill in the Plains and minus 50 in Montana and the Dakotas.

The weather in Iowa is affecting the presidential campaign, with several events cancelled ahead of Monday’s caucuses. State capital Des Moines is forecast to have wind chills of minus 20 to minus 30. Another surge of Arctic air is expected to drop south over the Midwest and the northern Plains states, bringing potentially hazardous weather by midweek, NBC reported.

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As rough weather was freezing the East Coast, a public transit bus in Philadelphia slid backward down a city street, NBC Philadelphia reported. The National Weather Service office that serves Philadelphia said the city was likely to get 4 inches of snow overnight.

As people across most of the US turned up the heat and stayed inside amid frigid temperatures, Montana took the title for the coldest temperature in the country, media reports said. . An area 13 miles north of Sulphur Springs, Montana, recorded a temperature of minus 42 degrees, the National Weather Service said.

The warmest weather was near Sunniland, Florida, around 50 miles southeast of Fort Myers, which had a temperature of 29 degrees, according to the agency. Meanwhile, 3,071 flights within, into or out of the U.S. were canceled on Monday, according to a flight tracking website, on a day when there were ground stops at some airports due to the winter weather gripping the country.

The most canceled flights were at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, where 509 arriving or departing flights were canceled, according to the website FlightAware. The second highest was at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, with a combined 441 cancellations, according to the site.

Both airports said that the weather was affecting travel and causing planes to de-ice. They advised passengers to budget extra time. Snow fell across the South this weekend and Monday, suddenly covering communities better known for brutal summers in a winter’s blanket, NBC said.

St. Joe, Arkansas, has so far received 8 inches of snow, while Hendersonville, Tennessee, took in 7.5 inches. Glencoe, Arkansas, was hit by 6 inches, and Nashville and Fairview, Tennessee, and Piney, Arkansas, all received 5 inches. Memphis, Tennessee, and Little Rock, Arkansas, both recorded 4 inches.

Mississippi urged residents to stay off roads as ice-slicked roads posed danger to drivers and authorities are asking residents to steer clear of roadways. As of this morning, “30 counties have reports of ice” on Mississippi roads and bridges, according to the state Transportation Department.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, or MEMA, asked residents to “stay off of the roads if possible and only travel in areas affected by winter weather if necessary.” “Temperatures will reach dangerous cold levels through Wednesday morning, MEMA is asking families to have a disaster go-kit at home and in their vehicle if they must travel,” the agency added.