TODAY   |  January 24, 2013

Icy temperatures to last through weekend

Millions of Americans are in the grips of a bitter arctic blast, with no relief in sight at least through the weekend and into Monday. The freezing temperatures and high winds are causing damage to buildings and are being blamed for several deaths. NBC’s Craig Melvin reports.

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>>> millions of people are waking up to bone chilling temperatures yet again this morning and the cold is not going away any time soon. nbc craig melvin is a few blocks away from us in central park . good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning. many folks have gotten used to what had been a relatively warm winter. now, this, look at my handy-dandy outdoor thermometer, sh showing 16 degrees. that is not taking consideration the windchill. it's warmed up in central park , single digits. many all over this country are waking up to a different kind of cold. brutal, bone chilling and built to last, millions of americans in the grips of a bitter arctic blast , expected to last through the weekend and into monday.

>> i was cold. i stayed in the house all day.

>> freezing temperatures made worse by windchills that made it feel like 40 below zero, from the upper midwest to new england. unbearable for the brave workers outside.

>> the first 30 seconds is okay. after that, it's brutal.

>> reporter: for buildings, high winds shredded the roof of this in detroit.

>> 10 minutes is all it takes for frostbite to set in. plumbers working overtime to fix broken furnaces.

>> we're probably working 200% capacity right now, everybody working double shifts, trying to get everybody heat.

>> reporter: in webster, new york, a snowy road sent a school bus into a ditch. fortunately no one was hurt. staten island relief centers from superstorm sandy are now heating centers.

>> my fingers felt like they would fall right off, it is that cold.

>> reporter: but for some tourist, a chance for a moment frozen in time. for many, it's that teeth chattering uncomfortable cold. for others, it's been far worse. so far, several deaths are being blamed on this frigid cold snap , matt.

>> craig melvin, thank you very much. mr. roker, the question is how long will this last?

>> bundle up for the weekend because it will take that