Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Record low temperatures hit US... At least two people killed

Published:Monday | January 1, 2018 | 11:23 AM
Steam rises from Lake Superior as the ship St. Clair comes to harbour during some of the coldest temperatures of the year on Sunday at Canal Park in Duluth, Minnesota.

Bone-chilling cold gripped the middle of the United States as 2018 began Monday, breaking a low temperature record, icing some New Year's celebrations and leading to at least two deaths attributed to exposure to the elements.

The National Weather Service issued wind chill advisories covering a vast area from South Texas all the way to Canada and from Montana and Wyoming in the west through New England to the northern tip of Maine.

Dangerously low temperatures enveloped eight Midwest states including parts of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Nebraska along with nearly all of Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.

The weather service said a temperature of  -26 Degrees Celsius was recorded in Omaha before midnight Sunday, breaking a record low dating back to 1884, and the temperature was still dropping early New Year's Day.

That reading did not include the wind chill effect — which could hit -40 Celsius, according to forecasters.

Omaha officials cited the forecast last week in postponing the 18th annual New Year's Eve Fireworks Spectacular that draws around 30,000 people.

An Indianapolis woman was in critical condition after she became confused in the snow and ice and turned her vehicle the wrong direction, driving 150 feet on a retention pond before her vehicle fell through the ice, according to WISH TV.

She managed to make an emergency call but the phone went dead when the ice cracked.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's office said two bodies found on Sunday showed signs of hypothermia. They included a man in his 50s found on the ground in an alley and a 34-year-old man.

Autopsies are being performed on both men.

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