Polar blast blamed for a dozen deaths in midwestern US
At least 10 people have died in connection with snow and dangerously cold temperatures across the midwestern section of the United States, authorities said Thursday.
The temperature in International Falls, Minnesota, dipped to minus 45F (minus 43C) early Thursday just south of Canada. The city, dubbed the “Icebox of the Nation,” saw temperatures drop another 5 degrees F early on Thursday.
The fatalities include a young couple killed in a car crash in rural Indiana and three people in Iowa, including an 18-year-old student found dead on the campus of the University of Iowa .
In Illinois, one man died after being run over by a snow plow and and another tripped and fell outside his home and froze to death before help arrived.
Authorities in Michigan reported two deaths, while a resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, fell to his death while shoveling snow off the roof of his home.
Dozens of people have been injured in traffic accidents on icy roads throughout the region.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said that hospital emergency rooms across the state admitted at least 30 people suffering from frostbite and hypothermia.
Temperatures remained below zero in many parts of the Midwest on Wednesday.
The low in Chicago, the country’s third-largest city, on Thursday was minus 21F, but weather forecasters are calling for readings in the mid-40s to low 50s Fahrenheit in the coming days.
The sub-zero temperatures affected 216 million people, roughly 75 percent of the population of the continental United States.
On Wednesday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appealed to residents to turn down the heat amid a natural gas shortage due to the elevated demand and a fire at a compressor facility.