Record Deep Freeze Covers Half The U.S.

Polar vortex snarls roads and airports with wind chill at 65 below.
3:00 | 01/06/14

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Transcript for Record Deep Freeze Covers Half The U.S.
The polar vortex. The air around the pole and here we have it, usually slips into canada. This time, and this time right now, we're getting it all the way into the united states. It does not happen that often. We're having the coldest air if decades. Perhaps you have heard in this morning. This morning, minneapolis,2 below, the surface of mars last week was 20 below. This is what happens if you leave the refrigerator open. At 20 below, it explodes. People dealing with temperatures 20, 30, 40, 50 below. International falls, feels like 45 below. Chicago, feels like 39 below. We find gio there. That temperature dropping fast. 10 below in chicago. With the wind chill, 39 below. Tease are temperatures we haven't seen here in decades. Dangerous. And life-threatening. Air so cold, frostbite can attack if as little as five minutes. The wind chill in minneapolis, a breath-taking negative 60 degrees. Lake michigan, frozen solid. Ice breakers there are being called in to clear the way for freighters. In bloomington, minnesota. My vid froze up on the inside. I had to scrape it. Reporter: Fire crews in omaha, nebraska, praying their uniforms don't turn to ice. Once they get wet, it begins to freeze. Reporter: It's not the cold, the releaptless snow, overnight, st. Louis with the most snow on this day in more than 30 years. Dangerously slick roads and whiteout driving conditions from oklahoma to illinois, creating ice road turmoil. Members of the southern illinois university men's basketball team found themselves stuck on the side of the road. The visibility went to city roe. We asked the bus driver to pull over to the side of the road. When he did, we couldn't get back on the road. Reporter: One of america's busiest airports shutting down for over two hours after an airplane slid off the icy runway at jfk. And here, this spray bottle as a prop. Within 15 minutes, the water inside froze. And many of our iphones have died within minutes. You can see his lips are freezing there. That has bone-chilling cold not

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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