Thousands Without Power During 'Historic, Life-Threatening Cold'

By Jillian MacMath, Staff Writer
January 7, 2014; 7:40 PM ET
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Multiple slide-offs and vehicle crashes were reported due to winter conditions across the Midwest and Northeast on Sunday. (Twitter Photo/Indiana State Police)

Thousands remain without power Tuesday morning after a snowstorm stretched from the Midwest to the Northeast amid bitter cold temperatures and wind chills as low as minus 45 F in some places.

@Av8rdan tweeted: "It's not even imaginable how people without power in the Indy area can get by in this Polar Vortex event"

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Many locations in the eastern portion of the country are still under a wind chill advisory or warning as of early Tuesday morning with wind chill values as low as 30 to 50 below zero.

Wind chills lower than minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit can cause exposed flesh to freeze in only five minutes.

The National Weather Service has referred to the cold outbreak as 'historic and life-threatening', as temperatures near all-time cold records highs.

Thousands remain without power in the areas hit hardest by the storm.

In Indianapolis, more than 12,000 customers remained without power prior to sunrise Tuesday morning.

A press conference was held at 11:15 a.m. EST Monday, by the Indiana State Police, Department of Transportation, Governor Mike Pence and Indiana National Guard to address the winter conditions.

More than 27 counties in Indiana were declared under a state of emergency Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, emergency response continues in Illinois, where RealFeel® temperatures are hovering between minus 20 and minus 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

In anticipation of the winter weather in Illinois, the state has extended hours of operation for more than 100 warming centers, six of which are located in Chicago. The centers are open to anyone in need of refuge from the frigid weather.

Over the weekend, more than 11 inches of snow fell in Chicago, slowing road travel, and canceling thousands of flights.

The severe winter conditions prompted a press release from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Monday.

"As we continue to monitor weather conditions and work nonstop to respond to this winter storm, we will ensure that critical state services continue," said Governor Quinn.

"To protect the safety of our employees and the people they serve, I am directing state employees whose duties are not critical to state services to stay home and off the roads on Monday."

Though the snow has stopped in Illinois, the state continues to face "a dangerous combination of low temps, black ice, & drifting snow," Quinn tweeted.

Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Jillian MacMath at, follow her on Twitter @Accu_Jillian or Google+. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook and Google+.


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