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Brutal cold spell sets record lows across the US

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Bitter cold continues to blanket the northern United States and Canada as forecasters warn that the deep freeze will continue into the start of 2018.

International Falls in the US state of Minnesota – the self-proclaimed "Icebox of the Nation" – saw temperatures drop to -37F (-38.3C).

New Hampshire's Mount Washington, home of the "worst weather in the world", set a new low record at -34F (-36.6C).

Parts of Canada are colder than the North Pole or Mars, officials say.

Snow emergency in US city after huge storm

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In Erie, Pennsylvania, where more than five feet (1.5m) of snow has fallen since Christmas Day, state National Guard troops have been deployed to help clear the "incredible amount" of snow.

Officials there say more snowfall is expected – and around the Great Lakes region – later this week.

Two cities in New Jersey have cancelled their ice water "plunges" – where hundreds of people run into the Atlantic Ocean – planned for New Year's Day. Local officials in Ventnor and Ocean City cancelled the events, citing safety concerns.

The annual ball drop in New York City's Times Square is expected to take place in near-record cold temperatures.

Parts of upstate New York also experienced nearly five feet of snowfall, with firefighters in the town of Lorraine reporting that they were forced to dig through the snow to rescue a woman stuck inside her home.

Weather officials say that higher winds are pushing temperatures even further down.

Wind chill will keep temperatures below 0F (-17C) in New England as well as New York City and Philadelphia.

Officials are warning people to take measures to prevent frostbite and hypothermia by bundling up in layers of warm clothing.

Forecasters add that any exposed skin can become frostbitten in less than 30 minutes.

In Chicago, one 62-year-old man died of cold exposure after he was found unresponsive in his car, CBS reports.

In Kansas, icy conditions are being blamed for a deadly car wreck that killed four people on Tuesday.

More Arctic winds are expected to push south into the US over the weekend, which officials say may make for a chilly New Year's holiday.

Original Article

BBC

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