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Pittsburgh Weather: Bitterly Cold Temperatures Sweep Across Eastern U.S., Warming Shelters Open In City

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PITTSBURGH (AP/KDKA) -- Bitter cold and gusty winds swept across the eastern U.S. on Monday with falling temperatures replacing the weekend's falling snow.

The National Weather Service had forecast that temperatures would be more than 20 degrees below normal across the Northeast, with wind gusts up to 30 mph and wind chills approaching minus 40 degrees in northern New York and Vermont.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

In Pittsburgh, a Wind Chill Advisory was in effect until 1 p.m. for Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

The city opened two warming shelters to anyone who needs them on Monday. They are located at the Homewood Center and the Southside Market House Center. The shelters will be open until 8 p.m.

The Light of Life Mission on the North Side opened as an emergency shelter overnight. It was full as people sought to escape the dangerously cold weather. Officials say if the cold weather persists, they will send teams to homeless camps to make sure everyone is OK.

When it's a holiday and it's 10 degrees with a wind chill below zero, you would think all people would want to do is stay inside.

But KDKA's Kristin Emery found some people crazy enough to go ice skating outside at PPG Place Monday afternoon. She asked Vinny Santapau what the heck he was doing outside in the frigid weather.

"Honestly, taking my daughter ice skating for the very first time," he said. "Yeah, that's not my dream to be out here in whatever, sub degrees and... yeah. That's why."

Santapau wasn't alone on the ice as skaters layered up in hats, gloves and scarves to brace against the cold air.

"Oh, we're good," Santapau said when asked how he was holding up against the cold air. "We had hot cocoa, so we kind of refueled that way."

Moving around kept some skaters warm, but Santapau said the breeze from skating actually made him even colder.

ppg paints arena ice skating
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Afternoon sunshine helped ease the pain of the bitter cold air a bit.

Still, messengers and deliverymen on bicycles wisely covered their faces and hands to guard against frostbite. Folks outside sported thick gloves and furry hats as they shivered around town.

Ryan Gorscak and his son, Brayden, spent the day off school and work braving the cold for some shopping. They're prepared to bundle up Tuesday morning, too.

"Hats and gloves," says Gorscak for what he'll dress his son in for school. "And then we'll drop off so we'll be able to be close to the entrance so we don't have to wait outside."

The key is dressing in extra layers to protect against the cold.

Gorscak joked that often those extra layers wind up being left behind in the classroom at the end of the day rather than being worn home by his son.

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In suburban Chicago, the temperature was about 14 degrees (minus-10 Celsius) Sunday when a 12-year-old girl died after a snow fort collapsed on her. Police in Arlington Heights, Illinois, said Esther Jung had been playing with another girl outside Rothem Church. Their families began looking for them about an hour later and found them under the snow. The younger girl survived.

In Connecticut, more than 12,000 homes and businesses remained without power Monday morning, down from a high of more than 25,000 outages Sunday, as temperatures dropped below zero in some locations. The power restoration effort following the weekend storm turned deadly Sunday when an Eversource subcontractor was struck by falling tree in Middletown while working on a power line.

In Kansas, a snowplow driver was killed when the plow drove onto the shoulder of a road and rolled over, throwing him under the vehicle. It wasn't clear why the driver had moved to the shoulder from the roadway.

The bitter cold is expected to stymie travel once again with FlightAware reporting nearly 280 flights canceled as of Monday morning.

Another storm system is already developing over the Rockies that could blanket the same region with more snow by the end of the week.

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(TM and © Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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