The North of the United States remains cold, the East is preparing for it

The northern United States was still struggling Thursday with a historic cold wave that has hit the region for several days and is slowly moving towards the East Coast.

Conditions remained difficult for tens of millions of people in the "Midwest" where cold records in recent days have left a dozen dead, according to a new provisional assessment.

Polar air from the Arctic has caused water and electricity cuts, transportation disruptions and numerous road accidents.

Most local governments, businesses and schools remained closed on Thursday. The US Post has extended the suspension of its mail delivery in several states.

The warmth is however in view as the air mass moves eastward.

"Temperatures will slowly begin to rise as the air mass heats up," said the National Weather Service (NWS). But because of the wind, they had to stay between -29 and -46 degrees Celsius felt in some parts of the Midwest.

"We're not done yet, there are 24 hours where the weather will be at dangerous levels," said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Chicago, the country's third largest city, had the second coldest day of its history on Wednesday with -29 degrees. The record of -32 degrees dates from January 20, 1985.

The city has experienced unusual natural phenomena this week, like the "freeze earthquakes". According to local TV WGN, several residents said they heard explosions caused by frozen water in the ground that breaks under pressure.

More than 2,300 domestic and international flights were canceled Thursday, according to the FlightAware site.

The authorities have renewed their safety instructions, warning against the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. Employees at Chicago's airports had to limit their activities outside to 15 minutes.

The Amtrak railway company was slowly resuming operations after canceling all its trains from Chicago on Wednesday.

- Colder than in Siberia -

Among the ten victims of the cold is an 18-year-old student from Iowa University, found unconscious on Wednesday morning near a campus building, when he was -46 degrees in the city of Iowa City, according to the local KCCI channel.

Michigan and Minnesota have asked residents to set their thermostats at 18 degrees maximum to prevent saturation of natural gas and electricity networks.

In Detroit, the three major automakers have suspended or limited their operations to save gas, according to the daily Detroit News.

Further north, Canada's weather service on Thursday issued an "extreme cold warning" for Winnipeg (center) with temperatures that dropped to -31 C after -40 the day before.

"Temperatures in Winnipeg are colder than in Siberia," said CTV.

Most schools, colleges and universities, however, remained open and airport traffic was not disrupted.

The ice has also blocked shipping on the St. Lawrence River, a strategic trading route connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario as well as Detroit and Chicago. Traffic resumed slowly Thursday morning in Montreal after the intervention of icebreakers.

Some of the famous Niagara Falls on the US-Canadian border also froze Wednesday.

The Mississippi River, near Illinois and Iowa, was also partly frozen as snow continued to fall, an AFP journalist found.

The cold air, accompanied by snowfall, is heading to the Atlantic and it could even make up to 15 degrees in the Midwest by Saturday, the NWS said in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Boston Weather Service (Massachusetts, Northeast) has issued a warning bulletin for the metropolis and the north of the state of Rhode Island until Thursday night. Snow and wind speeds up to 80 km / h will create "very dangerous traffic conditions," according to the Boston NWS.

Source: Seychelles News Agency