Early Wednesday the temperature there was 19 below zero.
The painfully cold weather system that put much of the Midwest into a historic deep freeze is expected to ease Thursday, though temperatures could still tumble to record lows in some places before the region begins to thaw out. Cotton, Minnesota had the lowest national temperature recorded on Thursday at minus 56F (minus 48C) before the weather warmed up, the weather service reported.
Disruptions caused by the cold will also persist, including power outages and cancelled flights and trains. Customers were connected to other mains to keep water service from being interrupted, Detroit Water and Sewerage spokesman Bryan Peckinpaugh said. The wind chill temperature, which is a measure of what the air fees like when wind is taken into account, will fall as low as minus-65 in the Upper Midwest.
Schools in parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa remained closed. "When severe weather or other uncontrollable events impact your flight and travel dates, you may be able to change your trip with no change fee", the airline stated on their website".
All-time records are in jeopardy this week as the coldest air in a generation descends from the Arctic into the Lower 48.
United have warned the Chicago winter weather will affect flights to, from and connecting through O'Hare airport.
Chicago's temperature dropped to a low of around minus 21 degrees (minus 30 Celsius) on Thursday, slightly above the city's lowest-ever reading of minus 27 degrees (minus 32 Celsius) in January 1985. Milwaukee had similar conditions.
"We'll even get some snow this afternoon in the (Washington) D.C. area", he said.More news: Norfolk weather: Fog descends as snow and ice warnings continue
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"It's awful!" Pasquale Cappellano, a 68-year-old waiter, said as he smoked a cigarette while waiting outside for a bus on Chicago's North Side. The hardiest commuters ventured out only after covering almost every square inch of flesh against the extreme chill, which froze ice crystals on eyelashes and eyebrows in minutes.
Postal services were unable to deliver mail in parts of Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, the Dakotas and Nebraska.
The bitter cold is the result of a split in the polar vortex that allowed temperatures to plunge much farther south than normal. The frightful cold, expected to bottom out with record lows Thursday morning, was blamed for several deaths across the region, and fears for the most vulnerable populations soared as night fell.
The deaths recorded in the USA included an elderly IL resident who was found several hours after he fell while trying to get home and a University of Iowa student found behind an academic hall several hours before dawn.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, officials warned that anyone venturing into the cold through Thursday morning could suffer frostbite in as little as 5 minutes.
Supplies were strained due to high demand from home heaters and from a fire at a natural gas compressor station in MI, officials said. More flurries will arrive after 2 a.m. Friday, though temperatures will rise to positive digits soon after that.
Aside from the safety risks and the physical discomfort, the system's icy grip also took a heavy toll on infrastructure, halting transportation, knocking out electricity and interrupting water service.
In Detroit, where some water mains are nearly 150 years old, city workers were dealing with dozens of breaks, said Palencia Mobley, deputy director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.
The Amtrak passenger rail service cancelled all trains in and out of Chicago on Wednesday. Several families who meant to leave for Pennsylvania stood in ticket lines at Chicago's Union Station only to be told all trains were canceled until Friday.