BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) A deadly arctic deep freeze enveloped the Midwest with record-breaking temperatures on Wednesday, triggering widespread closures of schools and businesses, and the canceling of more than 1,500 flights from Chicagos airports. The cold even prompted the U.S. Postal Service to suspend mail delivery to a wide swath of the region.
Many normal activities shut down and residents huddled inside as the National Weather Service forecast plunging temperatures from one of the coldest air masses in years. The bitter cold is the result of a split in the polar vortex that allowed temperatures to plunge much further south than normal.
In Chicago, temperatures were still dropping after plunging early Wednesday to minus 19 degrees, breaking the days previous record low set in 1966. Snowplows were idled overnight in southwestern Minnesota, where temperatures dropped to negative 29 degrees.