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Arctic blast blamed for Massachusetts infant’s death as ‘dangerously cold’ temperatures envelop Northeast

Temperatures are expected to stay 10 to 30 degrees below average over parts of the Northeast and the coastal mid-Atlantic states through Saturday evening.
/ Source: NBC News

The arctic temperatures and gusting winds are now responsible for at least one death as Friday’s high winds were blamed for the death of an infant in Southwick, Massachusetts.

The winds brought a tree branch down on a vehicle driven by a 23-year-old Winstead, Connecticut, woman, according to a statement from the Hampden district attorney’s office.

The driver was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, but the infant died, authorities said.

The powerful arctic blast will bring “dangerously cold wind chill temperatures” to the Northeast through Saturday evening along with blizzard conditions through northern Maine, forecasters have warned. 

“Temperatures will be 10 to 30 degrees below average over parts of the Northeast into the coastal mid-Atlantic,” the National Weather Service said in a bulletin early Saturday. 

Wind chill warnings and advisories have been issued across New York state and New England, it said. 

The weather service added that high winds could bring power outages and damage property over the northern Rocky Mountain front and the High Plains. 

The warning comes after temperatures reached perilously low levels across the region Friday. At New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Observatory, a wind chill of minus 101 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded.

Elsewhere, schools in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts, New England’s two largest cities, were among those closed on Friday over concerns about the risk of hypothermia and frostbite for children walking to school or waiting for buses. 

With the weather service forecasting wind chills of minus 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit for northern Massachusetts on Saturday, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu declared a state of emergency through Sunday and opened warming centers to help the city’s 650,000-plus residents cope.  

In New York, a “Code Blue” alert that signals sub-freezing temperatures and the opening of emergency shelters was activated. 

Single digit temperatures and wind chills of 10 to 15 below zero are forecast for the city and suburbs Saturday morning, the National Weather Service’s New York office said.

More than 11,000 properties in New York state were without power early Saturday, and more than 5,000 in Maine, according to the website    

While the Northeast was hunkering down, Texas and parts of the South were starting to warm up in the aftermath of a deadly winter ice storm that brought days of freezing rain, sleet and ice, causing massive power outages and dangerously icy roads.

However, “snow will move into parts of California overnight Saturday,” the weather service said, adding that on Sunday another round of heavy snow will hit the Sierra Nevada mountains on Saturday night through Sunday.

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