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Bitter cold in Midwest, Northeast to ease during weekend

Large Lake Michigan waves crash against the lakefront, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, causing erosion and ice formation near East 72th Street in Chicago. (Victor Hilitski/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS — Bitterly cold temperatures persisted from the Northern Plains to parts of the Great Lakes and northern New England, with schools in some Upper Midwest communities cancelling classes for a second day Friday.

The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory for parts of North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri on Friday and several New England states. Wind chill readings in northern Minnesota dropped to about 30 degrees below zero (minus 34 Celsius) early Friday as the coldest air of the season lingered.

In Minnesota and elsewhere, warming shelters were filled beyond capacity. Outreach workers and law enforcement hit the streets to make sure those without a home were safe.

Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchison was among those checking on those living on the streets Thursday night.

“Our goal, Minneapolis, everybody’s goal is to make sure we don’t have any fatalities,” Hutchinson told KMSP-TV. The sheriff and outreach workers directed the homeless to shelters and passed out winter gear.

In Omaha, Nebraska, the death of an 80-year-old man may be attributed to the cold. Police found the body of Robert Freymuller on Thursday near the assisted-living centre where he lived. His death is being investigated, but police said he was not dressed appropriately for the weather. The wind chill had dropped to minus 26 degrees (minus 32 Celsius) at the time.

The National Weather Service expected the dangerously cold airmass to give way to more moderate temperatures over the weekend.

The Associated Press