Polar Vortex in US: Over 20 feared dead
New York: Citizens of Midwest and Northeast US faced Arctic-like temperatures on Friday. Temperatures fell to as low as minus 56 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 49 Celsius).
Over 20 people were feared to be dead due to chilling temperatures with polar vortex hitting the US. Vulnerable populations such as the homeless and elderly enduring cold faced frostbites leading to amputations.
Severe snow and ice created precarious travel conditions, with 26 road accidents reported within two hours on Thursday in eastern Iowa’s Johnson County.
It has been more than 20 years since a similar blast of frigid air covered a swath of the US Midwest and Northeast, according to National Weather Service.
Homes and businesses used record amounts of gas to fight the cold, according to financial data provider Refinitiv. The government appealed to customers to use energy responsibly and try to conserve as much as possible to avoid a power outage.
The brutal chill was caused by the polar vortex, a mass of freezing air that normally spins around the North Pole but has made its way south into the Midwest United States.