Death toll tops 60 across U.S. as arctic blast leaves dangerous icy conditions

A bitter blast of Arctic air will linger across much of the United States this weekend, with tens of millions enduring bone-chilling cold and facing dangerous icy conditions, forecasters warned Saturday, as weather-related deaths numbered more than 60.

Heavy snow blanketed parts of the Northeast and Midwest on Friday, and the plunging temperatures overnight left roadways slick.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency on Saturday announced two more deaths, which occurred in an incident on a highway in rural Leflore County, north of Jackson. Further details were not immediately available.

The state’s death toll has reached at least eight people over the past week, with deaths attributed to road conditions and extreme cold.

In total, weather-related fatalities in the U.S. have grown to at least 61 people amid the wave of dangerous winter weather in recent days. Many of the deaths were reported in Tennessee and Oregon.

“Frostbite and hypothermia are likely with prolonged outdoor exposure,” emergency officials in Mississippi said Saturday.

Temperatures were expected to reach the single digits in Minneapolis and the teens in Chicago and St. Louis as the wind chill made it feel as low as minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit across parts of the northern Plains, according to the National Weather Service.

Another Storm Brings Possibly Another Foot Of Snow To Western New York State (John Normile / Getty Images)
Another Storm Brings Possibly Another Foot Of Snow To Western New York State (John Normile / Getty Images)

In Baltimore, high winds on Saturday made temperatures feel like they were barely in the double digits. Football fans attending the NFL playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium had to bundle up in multiple layers — another frigid matchup, although not expected to be as record-setting as last weekends Kansas City Chiefs-Miami Dolphins game in Kansas City.

Ahead of Sunday evening's playoff game between the Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills, fans in the Buffalo, New York, area were again being asked to show up Saturday and help shovel out Highmark Stadium. They could earn $20 an hour, reported NBC affiliate WGRZ.

"Shoveling for the Bills, we got to get this done and get this win against the Chiefs," fan Tyler Kocher said as team officials estimated that "hundreds" worked furiously to dig out the nearly 5 feet of snow from the stands.

Meanwhile, Southern cities were also bracing for a deep freeze: Atlanta feels-like temperatures were in the teens because of the wind chill, while residents in Nashville were waking up to temperatures that felt like below zero Fahrenheit.

Travel remained perilous Saturday morning in the Great Lakes region, where snow showers were expected to redevelop in parts of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. The additional snowfall comes after some parts of Indiana saw as much as 32 inches on Friday.

Elsewhere Saturday, heavy rain was expected in Northern California while thousands of residents in the Portland, Oregon, area were still without power following another round of freezing rain on Friday.

At least nine weather-related deaths have occurred in Oregon, including three people in Portland who were killed by a downed power line in an incident that saw a young woman rescue a 9-month-old baby.

The latest cold snap is expected to improve after the weekend.

With “no additional replenishment of Arctic air from Canada,” the National Weather Service said, a “steady warm-up” is forecast for the middle of the country beginning Sunday.

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