Due to a cold wave hitting the American Midwest on Wednesday, temperatures are down and lower than those in Antarctica, grounding flights, closing schools and businesses, suspension of mail deliveries — and raising fears of hypothermia. People are encouraged to stay home in nearly a dozen US states where the mercury plunged into the negative double digits. It is seen as the worst freeze to grip the region in a generation. US media has reported at least five deaths since the weekend to the freezing conditions and a major snowstorm that preceded the blast of Arctic air gripping the region. Steam rising off the waters of Lake Michigan, parts of Niagara Falls solidified into frozen stillness, and blocks of ice covering the river winding through downtown Chicago are some of the phenomena also caused unreal and unusual scenes throughout the region.
Chicago was on track to break new records overnight when temperatures were forecast to reach their lowest points in the early hours Thursday. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a news conference that this is a historic cold. They are life-threatening temperatures, and they should be treated accordingly. According to reports, the morning temperature in the Windy City was reported as -22°F (-30°C) which felt like -50°F (-46°C) with the wind chill. The fact is that the cold weather was more than Alaska's state capital and even colder than parts of Antarctica. More than 1,800 flights were canceled at Chicago's two major airports, while rail operator Amtrak scrapped train services from its hub in the city. The major problem reported during harsh weather is of the transportation and homeless people.
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