Arctic blast creates dangerous, deadly conditions across U.S.

Frigid temperatures and icy roads were blamed for about a dozen weekend deaths across the U.S.

CBS News

The arctic air that’s shattering temperature records across the country will keep millions of Americans in a dangerous deep freeze.

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CBS News

Sub-zero wind chills are being recorded in states from coast to coast, and dipping all the way South to Texas.  Frigid and icy conditions are blamed for about a dozen weekend deaths on roads and highways in multiple pile-ups.

CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas, reporting from Minneapolis (one of the coldest cities in the nation today), said that later this morning, the wind chill temperature there is expected to go above zero for the first time since Friday night. 

Those temperatures not only make it dangerous to be outside, but as was seen this weekend, they can turn travel deadly. 

The arctic weather paralyzed travel across the country. Icy conditions caused a Spirit Airlines plane to slide off the taxiway at Niagara International Airport near Buffalo on Sunday, and a United jet skidded off the runway at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. 

Since Saturday, more than 11,000 flights were delayed. Another 4,000 were canceled. One passenger told CBS News, “Our trip got pushed back two hours, then it got pushed back four hours, now it’s canceled.”

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Frigid temperatures and icy roads were blamed for about a dozen weekend deaths across the U.S. CBS News

The weather conditions made for dangerous and deadly travel. At least 10 people were killed in weather related crashes over the weekend. 

A stranded driver shot video of a deadly fiery tanker crash on icy I-95 Saturday in Baltimore. At least two people were killed, and dozens were injured in the nearly 70-vehicle pile-up.

“I can’t help only just to shoot video,” witness Marvellous Amasiatu said. “That was very, very traumatizing for me”

Drone video shot off of Lake Michigan showed the intensity of the cold blast, turning a lighthouse into an ice castle.

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A lighthouse became an ice house off of Lake Michigan. CBS News

The frigid weather didn’t stop football fans from their tailgating traditions. In Chicago, it was 11 degrees at kickoff; in Kansas City it was just one degree at the start of the game.

And in Minnesota, tailgating Vikings fans dealt with weather well below zero.

Yuccas asked one woman, “How do you prepare for a day like today when you come out tailgating?’ 

“You don’t, really,” she replied.

Another offered advice: “Lots of layers!” 

When those Vikings fans were out tailgating, it felt as cold as 35 below zero with the wind chill -- cold enough for frostbite to set in within just 10 minutes.

Things are expected to warm up here over the next few days, somewhat -- the high today is expected to be a balmy 23 degrees.