East coast deals with deep freeze after snow

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A foot of snow, hurricane-force winds and coastal flooding across the East Coast on Thursday have led to bitterly cold temperatures moving in on Friday as people in the region attempt to carry on with their daily activities.

Forecasters now predict that strong winds and record-breaking cold air will affect everyone from the mid-Atlantic to New England, and the deep freeze is supposed to last throughout the weekend.

According to Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, the arctic blast could make temperatures feel as low as minus 15 degrees to minus 25 from Philadelphia to Boston. Those in Maryland and Virginia will likely see temperatures ranging from 10 degrees to 15 degrees.

In some places, like the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts, the National Weather Service is warning residents that the wind chill could make it feel like minus 35 degrees.

The storm, which started in the Gulf of Mexico before swiftly making its way up the coast with wind gusts of more than 70 mph, dumping several inches of snow on unsuspecting southern towns.

Schools and businesses closed, transportation came to a standstill and many people lost power for a while as the storm, which has been named “Grayson”, raged on throughout the end of the week. Some ferry services even had to be shut down along the Canadian coast.

Frozen pipes burst, causing the need for portable toilets to be placed outside of Mississippi’s Capitol. And in South Florida, the chilly temperatures caused sluggish iguanas to fall out of trees. Residents of southeast Georgia were shocked to see half a foot of snow blanket their neighborhoods.

Coastal flooding reached historic levels in some New England communities as icy water overflowed piers, streets and restaurants. Some people were stranded in the deluge and had to be rescued, according to a report from The Associated Press on Friday.

At least seven people have lost their lives in weather-related accidents.

Forecasters are calling for temperatures to be below zero this weekend in northern New England. And those who live in the Deep South can expect the freeze to continue, with temperatures in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia likely to hover around 15 to 20 degrees, Hurley said. Northern Florida will be in the 20s to low 30s.

Hurley said that Sunday morning will be really cold from Portland, Maine, to Washington, D.C. “That’s when you’ll see records being challenged or broken, with temperatures at or near zero in many places,” he said.

The seasonable weather is expected to return early next week, Hurley said, noting that temperatures will warm up to the high 30s and near 40s.

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