Polar Vortex Claims Lives Across Midwest

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Polar Vortex Claims Lives Across Midwest

Lily Kuhn

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Spring Hill felt the chill Tuesday night when the cold descended upon eastern Kansas. The temperature reached the negatives, while the windchill felt even colder. The weather was dangerous enough for school to be canceled Wednesday, but this part of Kansas only got a taste of what happens when hell freezes over.

The most brutally hit states were northeast of Kansas, in the northernmost continental states. According to BBC News, Chicago, the third largest city in America, experienced its lowest official temperatures of -21ºF. The cold was so dire it warranted strange and extreme measures, like setting train tracks on fire while the lines ran so they wouldn’t freeze. However, Chicago would seem positively warm compared to Cotton, Minnesota, the coldest place in the U.S. on Thursday, where temperatures reached -56ºF.

“At least 16 deaths have been linked to this week’s extreme weather,” reported CNN. “The deaths were reported across Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana since the weekend.” Many die tragically and quickly in these extreme temperatures. From a college student who froze to death outside his dorm to a man in his 70s who got confused and wandered outside his home, death in these cold temps is more than brutal. Further injuries have been reported from across the Midwest as people suffer from hypothermia and frostbite.

The weather has quickly warmed up again in our neck of the woods, but the cold has yet to alleviate in other parts of the country. Temperatures are expected to begin rising on Friday and through the weekend, but it is difficult to say for certain what the weather will bring.

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