Friday it was -10 in Cleveland, -6 in Detroit and -11 in Chicago
A bone-numbing Arctic blast drove temperatures down Friday to 11 below in parts of the Midwest and Northeast, closing schools to spare children from freezing at bus stops and prompting police to keep a watchful eye out for the homeless.
Forecasters said temperatures in the upper Midwest could turn into the coldest in years as frigid air keeps spilling south from Canada. The cold snap has claimed at least six lives and contributed to dozens of traffic accidents as vehicles slipped and slid on icy roads.
Scores of schools in Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois and upstate New York canceled classes for Friday as officials feared it would be dangerous for students to walk to school or wait for buses.
"They're waiting 30 minutes at a bus stop; there's the fear of frostbite and hypothermia," said Champaign Assistant Superintendent Beth Shepperd. "We also have more children walking to school without adequate outerwear."
At 5:30 a.m. Friday it was minus 10 in Cleveland, minus 6 in Detroit and minus 11 in Chicago.
In Philadelphia, an alert issued Tuesday remained in effect Friday, calling on residents to report sightings of homeless people. City crews worked to repair a number of water main breaks after pipes ruptured due to the cold.
Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, wind chills as low as 25 below were reported in the greater Pittsburgh area. Forecasters expected 25-below wind chills in parts of northern Pennsylvania through Saturday morning.
See: Big chill clamps down on upper Midwest