Surviving the Polar Vortex in NY's Snow Belt

The lake effect causes winter blast as thaw expected by the weekend.
3:00 | 01/08/14

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Transcript for Surviving the Polar Vortex in NY's Snow Belt
that, ginger, but the polar vortex going out with one last blast burying western new york under several feet of snow. That is the lake effect at work. Abc's linzie janis is in buffalo with the latest. Good morning. Linzie. Reporter: I'm standing on a frozen lake erie. That polar air moving across this lake colliding with the warmer temperatures at its surface and dumping so much snow it's coming down at a rate of up to 4 inches an hour. This is lake-effect snow. Overnight, the polar vortex sweeping across lakes ontario and erie dumping huge amounts of snow on nearby towns causing extreme whiteouts across the snowbelt. In western new york, residents expecting five feet of snow in these blizzard-like conditions. We're just asking for the public to stay put. Reporter: The extreme conditions turning thisrea into a series of ghost towns with residents taking fright at the coldest temperatures in 20 years. Giant chunks of ice make the niagara river look like a glacier prompting flash flood warnings. Looks like something out of national geographic. Reporter: Good samaritans in ohio rescuing three dogs left outside in the snow. For two or three days for his paws to be froze like that. Reporter: Doctors say if you have to go outside layer up. Start with a wicking layer, long underwear made of synthetic fabric that wicks moisture away from your body. Next the insulation layer, a sweater and a pair of pants, wool, down and fleece are the best. Finally, the weather layer, a heavy windproof, waterproof shell and snow pants to keep the elements out and your body heat in. Still, with windchill temperatures of up to 40 below hypothermia and frostbite remain very real threats. A couple more tips if you're headed outside today, mittens are better than gloves, put these hand warmers inside. Also, they say, stay away from coffee and alcohol. They make the body lose heat faster. Needless to say I haven't had my cup of coffee yet this morning. You are taking one for the team, the extreme team. Thank you very much for being there.

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

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