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Record snowfall and chilled South

They were shoveling the sidewalks in Lyndhurst, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland that was expecting 1-3 inches Monday on top of up to a foot of snow that came down in the area over the weekend.

Associated Press

They were shoveling the sidewalks in Lyndhurst, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland that was expecting 1-3 inches Monday on top of up to a foot of snow that came down in the area over the weekend.

A bitter chill has settled in across the eastern half of the country, threatening crops, closing schools and making Charleston, S.C., feel more like New York City.

The deep freeze will last for at least the rest of the week. The National Weather Service said the mercury could fall below zero in St. Louis this week for the first time since 1999.

In Burlington, Vt., a snowstorm dumped more than 33 inches over the weekend, breaking a single-storm record of nearly 30 inches set in 1969.

Most took it in stride, but some took it too far: Vermont State Police cited a man after stopping him pulling a sled — with a rider in it — behind his car on Interstate 89 Sunday. He was cited for driving with a suspended license.

It was a similar scene in upstate New York, where so-called lake effect snow blanketed parts of the state with more than 3 feet.

In Maine, the search continued for an 18-year-old snowmobiler who disappeared shortly after the storm started Friday night, and a small plane crashed into a river channel there Monday after reporting ice buildup on the wings.

The weather caused hundreds of school closings and delays in Arkansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the North Carolina mountains.

In Nashville, where the overnight low was 12 degrees, police believe an 81-year-old man with Alzheimer's disease wandered outside in his bathrobe and froze to death, the Tennessean reported. His body was found early Monday.

Wrecks on icy roads killed at least two other people. A woman died near Mount Nebo, W.Va., when she lost control of her pickup Sunday. And in Washington, a man died after his car ran off the road Sunday and plunged under a sheet of ice covering a creek.

Homeless shelters, especially in the Southeast, braced for a crush of people and said they would not turn anyone away.

Reginald Richardson, 55, of Columbia hates shelters but said this might be the week he caves in and spends a few nights.

"Yes, Lord, it has been cold," said Richardson, who has been homeless on and off for the past 25 years. "It got so cold last night, I thought about sleeping in a trash can."

Instead, he stayed in a hospital lobby for a few hours until he fell asleep and was kicked out into the 20-degree weather.

Record snowfall and chilled South 01/04/10 [Last modified: Monday, January 4, 2010 11:14pm]

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