Arctic Cold, Snow, From Midwest to Florida

32 states have winter weather watches or advisories.

ByABC News
January 7, 2010, 10:40 AM

Jan. 7, 2010 — -- Yes, we know, it's winter and it's cold. But when is enough enough?

Not yet. Forecasters said frigid air from Canada was blowing across the Midwest today, bringing dangerous wind chills and icy roads and spreading to the East Coast and deep South.

In Kansas City, the forecast high temperature for today was only 8 degrees F with blowing snow. Tonight, with 3-5 inches of snow on the ground and winds of 30-40 mph, forecasters warned of a wind chill of minus 25.

"These brutally cold temperatures will continue to result in dangerously cold wind chill values through Saturday morning," said the Kansas City office of the National Weather Service in an advisory. "This will create a potentially life threatening situation for anyone caught outdoors and unprotected for more than a few minutes."

That was hardly the worst of it. In Dickinson, N.D., the wind chill was reported at 46 below zero. Five straight days of double-digit subzero low temperatures, including negative 19, were recorded by the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

At least 12 people are reported to have died because of the weather. Near Springfield, Ohio, five people died and five others were taken to a hospital after a semi tanker-truck lost control and hit a bus on Interstate 70, state police told ABC News. All of the dead were on the bus. The truck driver and six people on the bus were injured.

Police could not immediately say what caused the accident, but ABC affiliate WSYX reported there was heavy snow in the area and roads were slick.

Elsewhere, an 88-year-old woman was found dead in her unheated Chicago home, as well as a homeless man in a tent in South Carolina. Kansas City police said a man was killed Wednesday night after a multi-car accident on an icy road. He was not injured in the crash, but he apparently jumped a barrier wall to avoid other skidding cars, and fell about 80 feet.

With snow continuing to fall in the Chicago area, the Illinois State Police put an emergency snow plan into effect -- telling drivers who had accidents not to call 911 unless there were injuries. About 8 to 12 inches of snow was expected in the area.

It was enough that United Airlines canceled 130 flights this morning from O'Hare International Airport, about a third of the day's scheduled departures. In all, O'Hare officials said about 400 flights today have been canceled because of the weather.

"Seems like we just get caught up and then another storm hits," said a man on "Good Morning America" today.