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U.S. Northeast in grip of intense cold after being hit with blizzard

U.S. Northeast in grip of intense cold after being hit with blizzard
From CBC - January 5, 2018

Street crews dug outsnow-clogged roads across the U.S. Northeast on Friday after apowerful blizzard, with temperatures set to plunge furtherduring a brutal cold spell that has already killed at least 18 people.

From Baltimore to Caribou, Me., workers battled to clearsnow and ice as temperatures with the wind chillwereforecast to fall as low as40in some areasafter sundown, according to the National Weather Service.

In the latest fatality blamed on the frigid weather, adriver slid off an icy road, killing a pedestrian, early on Friday in North Charleston, S.C., city officials said.

"THE DANGERS ARE REAL," the officials warned in a Twittermessage. "Huge patches of ice all over the city. Stay at home."

The fierce cold will reach from New England to the Midwestand down to the Carolinas, forecasters warned, adding that low-temperature records could be broken across the region in thecoming days.

In much of New England on Friday, the highs will reach only as high as 7 C, with intense wind chills, said Dan Pydynowski, a meteorologist with privateforecasting service AccuWeather.

"It can be very dangerous," Pydynowski said. "Any kind ofexposed skin can freeze in a couple of minutes."

Wind chill describes the combined effect of wind and low temperatures onbare skin.

The extreme cold also raised the risk that road salt wouldnot work to melt ice, possibly leaving highway crews to shift over to sanding roads to improve traction, Massachusettstransportation officials said.

Utility companies across the East worked to repair downedpower lines as about 31,000 customers remained without electricity early on Friday, down from almost 80,000 the daybefore. Most of the outages were in West Virginia, Virginia andNorth Carolina.

Multiple fatalities

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