Coldest air in nearly two decades filtered in from the Upper Midwest all the way to the Southeast

 After pounding the Midwest and Great Lakes during the weekend, snow from Winter Storm Ion started to move into the East. But the snow is just part one. The coldest air in nearly two decades filtered in from the Upper Midwest all the way to the Southeast.

“The streets tonight are like ice skating rinks,” said The Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Seidel, reporting live from Indianapolis Monday evening. Parts of Indiana had seen 15 inches of snow before temperatures bottomed out Monday.   

coldweather_small3 Coldest air in nearly two decades filtered in from the Upper Midwest all the way to the Southeast

More than 3,700 flights — around one out of every 10 domestic departures — were canceled Monday morning, following a weekend of travel disruption across the country. The bulk of those cancellations were in Chicago, Cleveland, New York and Boston.

Here are the latest impacts, as told state-by-state.


Help had finally arrived Monday for six semis and about 375 vehicles to get stuck along a snowy stretch of interstate in southern Illinois. The director of the state emergency management agency said a few semis jackknifed near the intersections of interstates 57 and 70 in Effingham Sunday night, setting off a nasty chain reaction. Cars were stuck behind the semis, and then 8 foot snow drifts covered the cars. A special 10-ton National Guard vehicle called a “wrecker,” along with 100 emergency personnel, had to be used to move the semis. No one was injured.

Chicago police say a Chicago man died after shoveling snow. The 48-year-old man suffered a fatal heart attack while shoveling snow on Sunday evening at his house on the city’s West Side. Chicago Public Schools closed both Monday and Tuesday. Many students walk to school, and officials didn’t want them outside in the dangerous temperatures.

Officials for Metra, the suburban Chicago commuter rail system, say 14 passengers reported injuries when a commuter train hit a “bumping post” at a downtown station — the second such accident of the day. The agency is investigating to see if the incidents were weather-related.


Indiana authorities had a simple message for anyone considering braving the state’s icy, snow-covered roads, biting winds and subzero temperatures: Stay home. ”If you can stay in today, stay in all day today,” Gov. Mike Pence said at a Statehouse news conference. “People need to understand that this is a very serious and very dangerous storm and despite the sunshine it continues to be just that.”

State police said 41-year-old Christopher Hutchings of Richmond died Sunday in a crash at U.S. 40 and Indiana 3 in eastern Indiana’s Henry County when his car slid on the snow-covered road into the path of a pickup truck.

Many of Indiana’s schools, businesses and municipal offices were closed Monday, and some planned to remain closed Tuesday, after the storm dumped up to 15 inches of snow and 35 mph wind gusts drifted some roads shut. Nearly 40,000 homes and businesses remained without power Monday afternoon after tree limbs burdened with snow fell onto power lines.

Highway officials on Monday afternoon reopened two major highways in northwestern Indiana — Interstate 65 between Lafayette and Merrillville and I-80/94 from the Illinois state line to Michigan City, but later closed I-65 again because of deteriorating conditions. Numerous state and local roads remained closed.

Indiana Department of Homeland spokesman John Erickson said National Guard crews were contributing highway and roadside assistance and helping emergency medical services reach patients. Erickson said even some emergency vehicles were having trouble in the snow.


Police in Wauseon say a 90-year-old woman was found dead in the snow near her stranded car Monday morning. Her car was stuck in the snow and she was trying to get home.

Many schools closed Monday, along with Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati, Miami University and the University of Toledo, and a variety of athletic events and other evening activities were postponed or canceled. City schools in Akron, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo sent early notices canceling Tuesday’s classes, as did Ohio State, the University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University and Cleveland State University.


The weather is blamed for at least six deaths across the state.

A car went out of control and slid in front of an oncoming propane tanker Monday afternoon in Otsego County’s Chester Township in the northern Lower Peninsula, state police said. The car’s driver was critically injured and its passenger killed. Their names weren’t immediately released.

A 16-year-old driver hit 50-year-old pedestrian Timothy Nixon, of Hastings, on Saturday in Barry County’s Baltimore Township, according to state police. Branden Hewitt, 27, of Owendale died Saturday in a two-vehicle crash in Huron County’s Brookfield Township.

Three people also collapsed and died while shoveling snow.

A 36-year-old Detroit man died at an Oakland County hospital after collapsing Sunday, Oakland County medical examiner’s office administrator Robert Gerds told the Detroit Free Press. A 57-year-old Milford man died Saturday after collapsing while shoveling snow, as did a 67-year-old Pontiac woman, Gerds added.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder urges residents to stay safe and warm, and refrain from building a snowman after heavy snowfall and amid dangerously cold temperatures.

The Republican governor told reporters Monday that the snowstorm has largely ended but now the state is facing record cold — with temperatures plunging well below zero.

Snyder urged people not to “dwell outside,” adding “this isn’t the day to have kids go outside and build a snowman, or an igloo.”

Many state offices were closed Monday, including those in Lansing. Two Four Winds casinos in the southwestern Michigan communities of Dowagiac and Hartford announced the facilities would be closed until Tuesday morning.

AAA Michigan spokeswoman Nancy Cain said the auto club assisted at least 2,200 motorists slammed by snow and low temperatures. The problems included dead batteries, cars slipping off roads, no gas and people locked out of their vehicles while warming them up.

The storm also shuttered many courts, including bankruptcy court in Detroit. That delayed closing arguments in a hearing on an agreement by Detroit to pay off banks and settle millions of dollars in debt tied to an interest rate swaps deal.

Many city, county and state offices were closed. There were some exceptions Monday, with Detroit reporting its offices will be open.

Hundreds of schools across the state canceled classes Monday, including Detroit Public Schools, and most southern Michigan schools announced closings for Tuesday as well. The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor bucked the trend and posted on its website that it was staying open Monday. The school’s Flint and Dearborn campuses were closed.

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for counties in the Tughill Plateau area. The State of Emergency covers Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Monroe, Oneida, Orleans, Oswego, Wayne and Wyoming. Parts of the New York State Thruway in Western New York will be closed Monday night and the emergency operations center will open at 8 p.m.

Amtrak announced it will operate a modified schedule on the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston, as well as the Empire Line between New York City and Albany on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014.


Authorities in two regions of Alabama say exposure to cold weather likely contributed to the deaths of two women. Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely told that 59-year-old Sonya Todd was dressed in a light sweater and sweat pants when she was found near a road in Tanner on Saturday. Authorities in Phenix City, about 225 miles southeast of Tanner, say an elderly woman there also likely died because of exposure to the elements.


Drivers in northern Delaware have been dealing with treacherous conditions resulting from freezing rain. The state Department of Transportation warned of black ice and other dangerous conditions, especially on bridges and overpasses.


At Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah, United Airlines canceled all flights in and out of the western Kentucky airport for Monday and Tuesday because of the freezing temperatures. Flights at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington were also experiencing delays from Chicago and Detroit.

Organizations including churches and the Salvation Army were planning to open warming centers in some cities.


Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is urging residents to take care and cover up to avoid harm from the cold snap. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency says it’s monitoring conditions. MEMA Executive Director Ken Mallette reminds residents to check on any friends and relatives who many not have enough heat.


Most schools across the state announced they’d remain closed Tuesday. The governor had ordered all schools closed Monday as a precaution.

The Minnesota Zoo will reopen Tuesday after being closed Monday. Outdoor exhibits, including the Northern Trail and Minnesota Trail, will remain closed to protect visitors and animals. All scheduled St. Paul Parks and Recreation outdoor programming remains canceled until 3 p.m. Tuesday.


Two road deaths in Missouri were blamed on the weather. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said a 1-year-old Easton boy, Kiber Williams, died after the car he was in crashed head-on with a snowplow near St. Joseph on Monday. In St. Louis, a driver was killed when his or her car apparently slid on ice on Interstate 44 and collided with a tractor trailer. The victim’s identity wasn’t disclosed.

More than 250 warming centers were open around Missouri, said Ryan Hobart of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The cold was so dangerous that teams were out looking for homeless people and taking them to shelters. So many homeless people arrived at a city-operated shelter in St. Louis that 80 had to be bused to other shelters, St. Louis city spokeswoman Heather Wegman said.

North Carolina

The cold blast prompted officials at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro to announce they will be closed Tuesday because of concern about the impact of the temperatures on both visitors and staff.

North Dakota

The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and North Dakota State University in Fargo called off classes Monday. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple canceled a state Capitol event to off a yearlong celebration of North Dakota’s 125th anniversary of statehood. In Minot, residential garbage collection was canceled “for the safety of our crews,” city spokesman Bob Lindee said.


Pittsburg Public Schools canceled afterschool activities Monday, and called off classes Tuesday. More than 10,000 customers lost power by Monday morning, but that number had dropped to 3,500 by evening.


Flights to and from Memphis and Nashville were either delayed or canceled. The Tennessee Valley Authority said it expected the cold weather to increase demand to 32,000 megawatts on Tuesday, close to the 32,572-megawatt winter record set in January 2009, when temperatures in the TVA region averaged 9 degrees.

In Nashville, both the city government and the city-run Homelessness Commission were operating special hotlines to connect people to shelter, and the Union Rescue Mission was operating a mobile “cold patrol” van, looking for anyone who might need help. Churches also were opening their doors, many in cooperation with Nashville nonprofit Room In The Inn.


Schools in Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties will be closed on Tuesday, the school systems announced Monday, while schools in the city of Alexandria will open two hours late. School officials said they wanted to ensure the safety of their students, especially those who walk to school.


The coldest conditions to hit Wisconsin in nearly 20 years kept most school children at home on Monday, while many other residents wrapped themselves in scarves, put on extra mittens and bundled up to brave wind chills lower than 50 below zero in some parts of the state.

The extreme cold forced hundreds of schools, government offices and businesses to close. And with little let-up in sight, schools already started announcing before noon on Monday that they would remain closed Tuesday.

Weather problems elsewhere in the country also led to dozens of flight delays and cancellations at the Milwaukee and Madison airports.

But despite those headaches, and isolated other problems associated with the coldest air in Wisconsin since 1996, there were no reports of widespread emergencies.

“So far, so good,” said Tod Pritchard, spokesman for Wisconsin Emergency Management. There were scattered reports of water main breaks and frozen pipes, as well as a brief power outage in Lafayette County, but power was quickly restored and no one had to be relocated, Pritchard said.

Those who did have to work on Monday tried to limit their time outside in the biting wind that pushed wind chills to negative 55 degrees in Eagle River and Rhinelander in northeastern Wisconsin. The air temperature was negative 13 in Milwaukee and negative 18 in Madison by mid-morning, and temperatures were not forecast to improve more than a few degrees as the day progressed.

Shelters expanded hours in locations around the state, providing cots, blankets, food and a warm place to stay for those in need.