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Enduring cold snap creates headaches at home, on highways

  • Frank Necci clears snow from St. Andrews Catholic Church, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, in Erie, Pa. The cold weather pattern was expected to continue through the holiday weekend and likely longer, according to the National Weather Service, prolonging a stretch of brutal weather blamed for several deaths, crashes and fires. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) Tony Dejak

  • A man walks with his groceries in a cart, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, in Erie, Pa. The cold weather pattern was expected to continue through the holiday weekend and likely longer, according to the National Weather Service, prolonging a stretch of brutal weather blamed for several deaths, crashes and fires. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) Tony Dejak

  • A woman braves temperatures in the teens as she makes her way to the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

  • Joe Scharpf cross country skis on a trail after a fresh snowfall in the south chagrin reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Moreland Hills, Ohio. Scharpf said he will ski about 6 miles on the trail. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) Tony Dejak

  • In this Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, photo, homeless men Sean Stuart, left, and Segundo Rivera walk on a street after spending the day at St. Francis House in Boston. With temperatures across Massachusetts not expected to rise above freezing for days, politicians and advocates for the homeless are particularly concerned about getting as many people as possible into shelters. Stuart and Rivera told the Boston Herald that they're not comfortable spending the night in a shelter. "We've lived out here so long it's like honestly, this is comfortable for us," Rivera said. (Christopher Evans/The Boston Herald via AP) Christopher Evans

  • The cold snap continues as a man walks on the pier along side a frozen section of the harbor at Fort Taber Park in the south end of New Bedford, Mass., on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Peter Pereira /Standard Times via AP) PETER PEREIRA

  • In this Dec. 28, 2017 photo, a sign tells the temperature at the Marlboro Fire Company, in Marlboro, N.J. Dangerously cold temperatures and significant snowfall are setting in across half the country and officials are urging people to assist the homeless and elderly. (Jerry Wolkowitz/The Asbury Park Press via AP) Jerry Wolkowitz

  • In this Dec. 28, 2017 photo, Janine Popovich and Riley, of Keyport, walk in frigid temperatures along the Keyport promenade in Keyport, N.J. Dangerously cold temperatures and significant snowfall are setting in across half the country and officials are urging people to assist the homeless and elderly. (Jerry Wolkowitz/The Asbury Park Press via AP) Jerry Wolkowitz

  • A pedestrian crosses the street as the temperature hovers in the single-digits, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in downtown Boston. The National Weather Service said there's the potential for record-breaking cold this week in New England. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes) Bill Sikes

  • People walk past a blue lobster ice sculpture outside the New England Aquarium as the temperature hovers in the low teens, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Boston. The National Weather Service said there's the potential for record-breaking cold this week in New England. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes) Bill Sikes

  • Icicles hang from the fountain at Town Center in Virginia Beach, Va., on Thursday morning Dec. 28, 2017. Cold temperatures are expected through the week. (L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot via AP) L. Todd Spencer

  • As the weather turns colder, water along the edge of one of the many creeks in the Pungo section of in Virginia Beach, Va., begins to freeze, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. Cold temperatures are expected through next week. (L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot via AP) L. Todd Spencer | The Virginian-Pilot

  • A boy has his face bundled against temperatures in the teens on the National Mall, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

  • Alexander Doepper of Hagen, Germany, helps his one year old son Jannis walk near the Washington Monument on the National Mall as they brave temperatures in the teens, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

  • Visitors to the Washington Monument on the National Mall brave temperatures in the teens, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

  • Ana Gonzalez of New Haven, Conn., right, helps her sister Alejandrina Gonzalez, left, put on another scarf as they brave temperatures in the teens on the National Mall, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

  • People brave temperatures in the teens as they ride on an open air second level of a tourism bus as it makes its way down the National Mall, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

  • A family braves temperatures in the teens as they make their way to the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

  • With temperatures in the single digits, Ray Levesque, mate of the crab/lobster boat Bradbill, makes his way across the deck covered in ice to tie off, after arriving in New Bedford, Mass., harbor on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, from a one day fishing voyage. Temperatures across Massachusetts are not expected to rise above freezing for days. (Peter Pereira/Standard Times via AP) PETER PEREIRA

  • In this Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017 photo, with temperatures in the low teens, ice begins to make its way across the waters of Lake Shawnee in Topeka, Kan. Freezing temperatures and below-zero wind chills also socked much of the northern United States on Wednesday. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP) CHRIS NEAL

  • In this Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017 photo, the surf from Lake Erie pounds the shore in Dunkirk, N.Y., driven by cold winds with lake effect snow. The National Weather Service said that strong westerly winds over Lake Erie picked up moisture, developed into snow and converged with opposing winds, dumping snow in a band along the shore from Ohio to New York. (Damian Sebouhian/The Observer via AP) Damian Sebouhian

  • In this Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017 photo, a man uses a snow blower to dig out after heavy snow fell in Dunkirk, N.Y. The National Weather Service said that strong westerly winds over Lake Erie picked up moisture, developed into snow and converged with opposing winds, dumping snow in a band along the shore from Ohio to New York. (Damian Sebouhian /The Observer via AP) Damian Sebouhian

  • Kelly Richards, left, and Lisa Rippe, jog around Lake Harriet in the sub-zero temps Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, in Minneapolis. Richards, originally from the Twin Cities but who now lives in Texas and was visiting for the holidays, remarked to nearby walkers that the weather was great. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP) David Joles

  • Logan Rogers pushes his bike along East Third Street in Erie, Pa., Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. Freezing temperatures and below-zero wind chills socked much of the northern United States on Wednesday, and the snow-hardened city of Erie, dug out from a record snowfall. (Jack Hanrahan/Erie Times-News via AP) Jack Hanrahan

  • Chelse Volgyes clears snow from her car in Erie, Pa., on Wednesday. Freezing temperatures and below-zero wind chills socked much of the northern United States this week, and the snow-hardened city of Erie, dug out from a record snowfall. AP

  • In this Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017 photo, a truck stopped at the top of a hill after heavy snow fell in Cassadaga, N.Y. The National Weather Service said that strong westerly winds over Lake Erie picked up moisture, developed into snow and converged with opposing winds, dumping snow in a band along the shore from Ohio to New York. (Greg Bacon/The Observer via AP) Greg Bacon



Associated Press
Friday, December 29, 2017

Already winter-weary parts of the Midwest and East Coast are dealing with a mounting number of weather-related headaches, from highway pileups to frozen pipes and a rash of car thefts. And there’s more to come.

Bitter temperatures and snow squalls have been blamed for a handful of deaths and canceled a long list of New Year’s celebrations.

Icy roads in central Michigan caused more 30 crashes on highways near Flint on Friday morning. Coastal South Carolina saw a rare bout of freezing rain and drizzle on Friday that forced bridges from Charleston to Myrtle Beach to shut down for de-icing.

Police in the Cincinnati area say a half-dozen cars have been stolen in recent days after being left running unattended by owners trying to warm them up. Cincinnati police warned in a tweet that leaving your car running means “the only person who will be warm is the thief who stole your car.”

More snow is on the way in Erie, Pa., where 65 inches have fallen since Christmas Eve. Now parts of the surrounding county could get up to 16 inches of more snow by Sunday.

A call center set up to help people dig out has been overwhelmed. “The phones have been ringing off the hook,” said Josh Jaeger, a coordinator for the center told the Erie Times-News.

Cleanup continued inside Michigan State University’s basketball arena after a frozen water pipe burst and flooded a hallway, but the mess wasn’t expected to interrupt a game Friday.

Diann Wears, of Toledo, said she was already fed up with winter as she stood along a slush-covered sidewalk while waiting for a bus.

“And it’s just the beginning,” she said Friday. “I’m sure it will get worse.”

Frigid conditions in Boston took their toll on the nation’s fifth-largest transit system.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has spent heavily to winterize what’s known as the “T” since it was crippled by record-breaking snowfall in 2015. But the agency reported “severe delays” on one of its lines Friday, citing a broken piece of track and a disabled train, among other problems.

Crews worked through the night to repair cracked rails and broken switches ahead of the Friday morning commute.

Several deaths have been linked to the wintry weather during the past week.

In South Dakota, an 83-year-old woman died from exposure to the cold after she crashed her car and then got out to look for help. Search crews found her body in a ditch on Sunday. Three people were found dead in a canal along Lake Erie earlier this week after their car slid off an icy road.

The National Weather Service predicts another blast of arctic air will chill much of the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. through the weekend and into 2018.

Temperatures could fall into the single digits as far south as Oklahoma and sink to zero or below Friday night in Nebraska and Iowa and remain there for at least three days.

“It’s pretty unusual to get that long of a streak where it’s completely below zero,” said Iowa’s State Climatologist Harry Hillaker. “Historically, that doesn’t happen very often in Des Moines.”

The Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies braced for storms forecasters warned could bring several feet of mountain snow and freezing rain.

With the bitter cold expected to stick around, many New Year’s Eve plans are being scuttled.

Shore towns in New Jersey canceled plans for polar bear plunges in the Atlantic Ocean and organizers pulled the plug on the annual light bulb drop in Sunbury, Pa.

Fireworks shows have been called off in Omaha and at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. And New York City’s Coney Island says it will be too cold for free rides on the Wonder Wheel and Thunderbolt roller coaster.

Animal advocates urged people to protect their pets from the cold. Wild animals weren’t immune from the dangers of winter, either.

In Ohio, wildlife officers mulled how to rescue a deer whose legs were stuck in an ice-covered river. They managed to lasso the deer with a rope and pull it to shore Friday, but they later had to euthanize the injured animal.