Arctic freeze grips US

BIG CHILL: Commuters brave sub-zero temperatures as they make their way to work in Chicago on Tuesday. (AFP)

New York: A record-shattering arctic freeze kept its grip on the US Northeast on Tuesday, closing schools and affecting travel on the first business day of 2018, and forecasters warned the region could be walloped by snow later in the week.

Boston tied a 100-year-old record on Tuesday when it marked seven consecutive days that the temperature did not top -6.7 degrees Celsius, and people whose work kept them outside struggled to find ways to keep warm.

"I'm here since '78 and I don't remember cold weather like this," Yiannis Galanopoulos, who sells $3 cheese pretzels from a cart in New York's Times Square, said as he warmed his hands over the glowing charcoals that keep his wares hot.

"But a living is a living," he said, adding that if the temperature dipped much lower, he might rethink the trip from his home in New Jersey. "It' not worth it to take a chance."

Officials throughout the region urged residents to alert social services if they saw people stuck outside in the cold. Bitter cold was blamed for at least four deaths across the US over the New Year's holiday weekend. Frigid weather had gripped much of the country for the past few days. Reuters


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