Homeless man's death may be due to bitter cold

2019-02-02 07:59
A mail-delivery person pulling a cart through snow in Brooklyn, New York.

A mail-delivery person pulling a cart through snow in Brooklyn, New York. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

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Authorities in New York say the death of a homeless man whose frozen body was found in a suburban Buffalo bus shelter might be related to the arctic cold that has blanketed much of the northern US this week.

An autopsy was planned to determine whether the man found in the village of Williamsville froze to death or died of another cause. His name wasn't immediately released.

The number of deaths that could be blamed on the subzero cold has climbed to at least 17. The deaths have occurred in eight states, from Iowa to New York.

The frigid conditions are starting to ease in the Midwest, where a dramatic swing of as much as 80 degrees was expected within days in parts of the region. Experts say it's unprecedented, and it could create problems of its own such as bursting pipes, flooding rivers and crumbling roads.

Water main breaks and burst pipes have disrupted operations at several facilities in Michiga, including a Detroit court and a university library.

The 36th District Court was closed on Friday amid flooding caused by a burst pipe. A restoration company will work through the weekend to get the court ready to reopen on Monday.

In suburban Detroit, the Kresge Library at Oakland University was closed on Friday due to flooding caused by a water main break. And in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the city of Escanaba was cleared to resume using water after a water main break.

Similar problems are expected amid a rapid thaw. A flood warning remains in effect along the Muskegon River in western Michigan due to an ice jam.

Jeff Masters is meteorology director of the Weather Underground firm. He says past cold waves have not dissipated this quickly.

Rockford, Illinois, saw a record-breakingminus 35°C on Thursday but should be around 10°C on Monday. Other previously frozen areas can expect temperatures of 13°C or higher.

Read more on:    us  |  weather
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