US shivers amid record-breaking low temperatures

Washington, Jan 6 : The East Coast in the US is shivering in a record-breaking freeze in the wake of a deadly “bomb cyclone” that dumped snow as far south as Florida.

In parts of the US and Canada, temperatures were forecast to fall below -29 degrees Celsius, with wind chill making it feel more like -67 degrees Celsius on Friday night, the local media reported.

In Canada, high winds knocked out power for tens of thousands of residents in Nova Scotia.

Thousands of snow ploughs were clearing roads across the US East Coast.

On Friday, the National Weather Service (NWS) predicted dangerously low temperatures moving into the weekend as frigid air lingering over the North Pole prowled towards the US mid-Atlantic region.

The storm that delivered the wintry deluge has battered coastal communities in Massachusetts. Residents of Boston, which received over 30 centimetre of snowfall, were clearing the streets with shovels, a BBC report said.

In the beach town of Revere, near Boston, frozen floodwaters left an entire street full of parked cars trapped in ice, in images captured on video posted to social media.

It came just days after a phenomenon described as a “bomb cyclone” brought heavy snowfall to a wide area along the US East Coast, as well as hurricane-force winds.

Giant waves caused by the storm saw freezing floodwaters inundate parts of the New England coast. The extreme weather has so far been linked to up to 19 deaths in the US and two more in Canada, according to reports.

The extreme weather caused travel chaos and led to the cancellation of thousands of flights. On Friday, more than 1,300 US flights had been cancelled by the afternoon, most of them at the New York area’s three major airports and Boston Logan International.

Hundred of schools and businesses were closed in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, the Carolinas, Maryland and Virginia.

Panicked New York City residents rushed to shops before the snow came, clearing shelves of milk, eggs, and kale, the New York Times reported.

Natural gas prices in the US’ northeast rose to an all-time high, driven by demand for heating fuel.

Atlantic and central Canada were also hit by the winter storm. The provinces of New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador were put under storm and blizzard warnings.

On Friday morning, some 125,000 customers were still without power after 140km/h wind gusts hit parts of Nova Scotia province. Power cuts were also reported in New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Ontario was under an extreme cold warning, while Quebec faced heavy snowfall, strong winds and storm surges.