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Relief in Sight
Bitter cold to give way to warmup
Staff, Wire Services
Tuesday, January 07, 2014 10:00 AM
Mike Peppers sits with a warm bowl of chili and a cup of coffee at the Salvation Army dining hall Monday. Peppers has used the Salvation Army as a daytime warming station, and has found a warm place to sleep at Faith Covenant Church at night. The Salvation Army will serve as a warming center from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Meals are served at no cost from 9 to 10 a.m. and noon to 1 p.m. Men and women in need of a warm place to sleep have been given cots at Faith Covenant on a first-come, first-served basis. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchieemail@example.com)
Indiana entered its second day of a deep freeze today with temperatures at least 10 below zero across the state's northern half.
Madison recorded an overnight low of 9 below zero. All Courierarea schools remained closed today.
The Salvation Army will open as a warming center from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Faith Convenant Church in downtown Madison also will offer cots for individuals seeking overnight shelter. The church hosted six guests Sunday and another eight Monday night.
Duke Energy this morning reported 24 customers still without power in Jefferson County.
The good news ... a warming trend is expected to begin Wednesday and last through the weekend.
Most counties across the northern two-thirds of the state remain under travel warnings, meaning drivers should only be on the roads for emergency purposes. Interstate 65 also was closed in northwestern Indiana between Lafayette and Merrillville because of hazardous conditions.
Weather has been blamed for the deaths of five Hoosiers - four in Indianapolis and one in Anderson.
Most school district across the state remained closed as wind chills reached to about 35 below zero.
Gov. Mike Pence urged Hoosiers not to travel, warning that they faced "real peril" if they became stranded.
Temperatures this morning reached 13 below zero in Indianapolis, while Fort Wayne and South Bend were at 12 below. Evansville reached 1 below zero.
The Indiana House and Senate were scheduled to open the 2014 legislative session this afternoon after canceling Monday's opening day. Because of the start was postponed a day, the bill filing deadline has been extended by one day until Monday. The session is scheduled to end March 15.
Monday's subzero temperatures broke records in Chicago, which set a record for the date at 16 below. Records also fell in Oklahoma and Texas, and wind chills across the region were 40 below and colder.
The polar air will next invade the East and South today, bringing with it the prospect of more records falling. Highs in the single digits were expected in Georgia and Alabama, and wind chill warnings stretched as far south as Florida, with forecasts calling for 10 below in Atlanta and 12 below in Baltimore.
Forecasters said some 187 million people in all could feel the effects of the "polar vortex" by the time it spreads across the country. Tennessee utility officials braced for near-record power demand, while Ohio prepared for its coldest temperatures in decades.
Recovery will be the focus in several Midwestern states today, since the subzero cold followed inches of snow and high winds that made traveling treacherous - especially on interstates in Indiana and Illinois - and was being blamed for numerous deaths in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence issued disaster declarations, paving the way to request federal aid.
More than 30,000 customers in Indiana were without power late Monday night. Utility crews worked to restore electricity as temperatures plunged into the negative teens, but officials cautioned some people could be in the cold and dark for days.
Warmer temperatures - at least, near or above freezing - are in store for the Midwest. Indianapolis should reach 27 degrees on Wednesday, and other parts of the central U.S. could climb above freezing later in the week.
Even International Falls, Minn., had something to look forward to. Wind chills dropped as low as -55 Monday, but were expected to rebound to 25 below today. By Friday, the low was expected to be 5 to 10 above zero, Oravec said.
PHOTOS: Relief in Sight
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