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Some New Year's Eve festivities canceled due to extreme cold

Extreme cold
Much of U.S. facing arctic chill through the new year 02:16

New York and much of the nation have been shivering from an arctic blast -- and it's not leaving any time soon. Some cities have postponed New Year's Eve events because of the cold. 

Arctic blast results in freezing temperatures across the country CBS News

Places like Great Falls, Montana, are expected to get wind chills 26 below zero.

With the painful blast, pedestrians are bundling up as if for polar expeditions. As layers are added, hypothermia returned to the vocabulary.

The five-foot snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, is now frozen in place, with residents marooned underneath it. Record lows were set at New York's airports, and icy conditions resulted in airline cancellations and traffic accidents.

Homeless shelters in Chicago were jammed with people like Lee Lane. 

"Imagine a person without this," Lane said. "I can't even imagine that. You would pretty much die in the street. You would freeze to death."

The Salvation Army was also conducting wellness checks for people at risk.

Thresher sharks turned up dead off Cape Cod, Massachusetts Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

Along Cape Cod, three thresher sharks have washed up frozen since Wednesday. In Boston, Mayor Martin Walsh warned this weekend will be arctic.

"The only thing I know to guarantee is the ice sculptures will not melt for the next 3 days," Walsh said.

The St. Louis Winterfest and even its ice skating was canceled, along with outdoor New Year's Eve festivities in Omaha. Meanwhile, Saturday's high in Chicago will be a frosty eight above.

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