FIRST AIRED: January 31, 2019

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00:00:01
>> A blast of Arctic air gripping a wide swath of the US is being blamed for at least 12 deaths on Thursday. A number of them from traffic accidents due to whiteout conditions on roads and highways, others due to exposure. The weather system called a Polar Vortex blanketed an area from North Dakota to the Atlantic Ocean.
00:00:18
The icy blast froze the Wabash River in Indiana, and spurred winter storm warnings in New York. The freeze put unprecedented strain on heating systems and power grids.>> So I am asking that you please, tonight, turn down your thermostat, 65 degrees or lower.>> The Governor of Michigan asked residents to conserve natural gas because the utility was struggling to meet demand.
00:00:43
General Motors temporarily suspended operations at several Michigan plants at a request from the utility.>> This weather makes this work restoring power three, four times more difficult than it is on a sunny day.>> On Wednesday, Commonwealth Edison said they were working to restore power to roughly 5,400 Chicago customers.
00:01:04
The windy city on Thursday recorded its coldest January 31st ever, -21 degrees Fahrenheit at O'Hare Airport. Despite the motto neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, letter carriers in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio suspended delivery due to the cold. The strain is also building on kids and families.
00:01:23
Schools in Minneapolis' St. Paul were shut for the fourth day Thursday.>>
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ok, that went in.>> Some parents scrambled to find child care, others were forced to stay home. Dads and moms may get more time with their kids, but they're forced to spend it all indoors.
00:01:37
>> I think she kind of likes it but kind of doesn't like it,
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ecause sometimes we're really chaotic, and I don't think she really likes that sometimes.>> We decided to stay open because kids still need an outlet, especially if there's nowhere else to go.>> The Children's Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, is offering to help parents treat cabin fever.
00:01:57
>> Our goal is to remain open, and that if it's safe enough for you to bring your children. Bring them here and we'll keep you entertained with different toys and things to do.>> Adults are also finding activities. For some reason, they like posting videos of tossing boiling water into freezing air, marveling at the ice crystals that form.
00:02:14
Others test the effects of the cold on wet sportswear.>> Science experiment.>> Yeah,
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iff as a board. Frozen shirt.>> The Polar Vortex is forecast to lift this weekend.