Cold hangs on as wintry storm takes aim at Northeast commute

NEW YORK Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:12pm EST

1 of 4. A man casts his shadow walking out of the City Hall subway station in New York January 23, 2013. An Arctic blast gripped the U.S. Midwest and Northeast on Tuesday, with at least three deaths linked to the frigid weather, and fierce winds made some locations feel as cold as 50 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Frozen cash machines and canceled classes marked another day of a cold snap gripping large swaths of the United States on Friday, with a winter storm threatening the Northeast's evening commute.

A rapidly moving storm glazed the Midwest and South and headed east, threatening to bring snow and ice to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast for the evening rush hour, forecasters said.

"It's the type of conditions that cause extreme travel nightmares because things just get so slippery," said meteorologist Evan Myers on Accuweather.com.

Because the storm is dumping ice and no more than an inch of snow, it was difficult for plows to clear the roadways, he said.

"It's so cold out that all the anti-skids and things that they use on a highway (are) really not very effective," the meteorologist said.

In upstate New York, authorities considered charging a father who left his 1-year-old son strapped in a car seat for 8 hours while he went to work on Thursday, when temperatures never got above 15 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 9 Celsius).

He had forgotten to drop the child at day care and became aware of the error when his wife called to ask about the child, said Lieutenant Robert Winn of the Colonie Police Department.

"Luckily the car was parked in a spot that received sunlight through the day," said Winn, noting the child was examined at a local hospital and released.

After a week of frigid temperatures in New York City, chilled residents seeking cash for a warming cup of hot cocoa were frustrated to find their assets frozen as some automated teller machines stopped working in the cold.

In Indiana, ice-slickened roadways were blamed for more than 50 crashes, and sections of Interstates 69 and 64 were shut because of accidents, Indiana State Police said.

Treacherous travel conditions in Tennessee, caused by freezing rain, caused pileups on roads and led to canceled flights at Nashville airport. Classes at most schools in the middle of the state were closed or delayed.

In North Carolina, public schools announced early closures in anticipation of worsening weather conditions.

Forecasters said the cold would continue on Saturday and temperatures would start creeping up on Sunday.

(Additional reporting by Tim Ghianni in Tennessee, Susan Guyett in Indiana, Colleen Jenkins in North Carolina; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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