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Polar freeze settles over US South, East

Brutal, record-breaking cold descended on the East and South, sending the mercury plummeting Tuesday into the single digits and teens from Boston, New York and Washington to Atlanta, Nashville and Birmingham.

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The Janesville Gazette/AP Photo | Buy Photo

Bliss Communications maintenance worker Joe Villa shows the results of working outdoors in -17 degree weather. Villa was clearing drifted snow from the walkways around the downtown Janesville building early on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. The midwest is expected to have to suffer through another day of extreme cold before temperatures begin to rise in a more seasonal direction later tin the week.

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NASA/AP Photo | Buy Photo

This image captured by NOAA's GOES-East satellite on Jan. 6, 2014, at 11:01 a.m. EST shows a frontal system that is draped from north to south along the U.S. East Coast. Behind the front lies the clearer skies bitter cold air associated with the polar vortex. Forecasters said some 187 million people in all could feel the effects of the "polar vortex" by the time it spread across the country on Tuesday, Jan. 7. 2013.

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Andrew A. Nelles/AP Photo | Buy Photo

Commuters depart from Union Station with wind chills nearing minus 30 Fahrenheit on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, in downtown Chicago. Dangerously cold polar air snapped decades-old records as it spread Tuesday from the Midwest to southern and eastern parts of the U.S. and eastern Canada, making it hazardous to venture outside and keeping many schools and businesses closed.

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Mark Duncan/AP Photo | Buy Photo

Ice covers rocks and brush on the break wall at Edgewater Park in Cleveland Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. An official low of -11 degrees broke the 130-year-old record for the date as cold polar air spread from the Midwest to southern and eastern parts of the U.S. and eastern Canada.

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The Buffalo News, Harry Scull Jr./AP Photo | Buy Photo

Lynette Johnson snow blows her Springville, NY, driveway in the bitter wind and cold on, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.

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Andrew A. Nelles/AP Photo | Buy Photo

A man walks past a snow encrusted bicycle with wind chills nearing minus 30 Fahrenheit on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, in downtown Chicago. Dangerously cold polar air snapped decades-old records as it spread Tuesday from the Midwest to southern and eastern parts of the U.S. and eastern Canada, making it hazardous to venture outside and keeping many schools and businesses closed.

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The Tribune, Tom Stromme/AP Photo | Buy Photo

Jon Kramer, of Bismarck said a good way to beat the cold conditions is with a face mask called the cold avenger. Kramer uses the unusual looking face mask to break the wind as he rides his bicycle Monday Jan. 6, 2014.

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Democrat & Chronicle, Tina Macintyre-Yee/AP Photo | Buy Photo

A vehicle drives through a barely visible intersection of Route 33 and Batavia Stafford Townline Road on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 in Stafford, NY. Dangerously cold polar air snapped decades-old records as it spread Tuesday from the Midwest to southern and eastern parts of the U.S. and eastern Canada, making it hazardous to venture outside and keeping many schools and businesses closed.

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The Lawrence Journal-World, Mike Yoder/AP Photo | Buy Photo

Fire department personnel move hoses and spray water as they battle a house fire in single-digit temperature south of Lawrence, Kan., Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.

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Andrew A. Nelles/AP Photo | Buy Photo

Commuters exit Union Station with wind chills nearing minus 30 Fahrenheit on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, in downtown Chicago. Dangerously cold polar air snapped decades-old records as it spread Tuesday from the Midwest to southern and eastern parts of the U.S. and eastern Canada, making it hazardous to venture outside and keeping many schools and businesses closed.

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Daytona Beach News-Journal, David Massey/AP Photo | Buy Photo

Anne Regula stands in front of Halifax Urban Ministries waiting for a bus to take her to a cold weather shelter as the sun sets in Daytona Beach, Fla., Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. Cold weather shelters are activated when temperatures are expected to dip below 40 degrees. Temperatures in the Flagler and Volusia Counties are under a hard freeze warning.

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The Scranton Times-Tribune, Butch Comegys/AP Photo | Buy Photo

Jeffrey Campbell of Scranton, Pa. braves the cold weather on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 in downtown Scranton Dangerously cold polar air snapped decades-old records as it spread Tuesday from the Midwest to southern and eastern parts of the U.S. and eastern Canada, making it hazardous to venture outside and keeping many schools and businesses closed.

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News-Gazette/John Dixon/AP Photo | Buy Photo

A wrecked semi truck sits in the ditch on the eastbound side of I-74 west of St. Joseph, Ill., on Monday Jan. 6, 2014. Monday morning found east central Illinois encased in bitter cold, sub zero temperatures and blowing snow.

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Mississippi University for Women, Chris Jenkins/AP Photo | Buy Photo

This photograph released by Mississippi University for Women shows the frozen-over Legacy Garden fountain on the campus in Columbus, Miss. Nighttime temperatures dropped into the teens and daytime highs only reached 25. Tonight's temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits.

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The State Journal-Register, Justin L. Fowler/AP Photo | Buy Photo

Bill Brasche ski masked begins to fill with snow and ice as he braves the subzero temperatures and bitter wind chills to clear out his driveway, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Springfield, Ill.