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Cold Temperatures Grip Most Of US07:20

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The "polar vortex" has descended on much of the country. It's so cold that schools are closed in Chicago and St. Louis. More than 400 flights have been canceled in Chicago, and the Chicago Sun-Times has renamed the city "Chiberia."

It's 32 degrees below zero in Fargo, North Dakota, and in Indianapolis, it's illegal for anyone to drive, except for emergencies or to seek shelter.

Here & Now's Robin Young checks in with longtime reporter Dan Verbeck at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri.

And Here & Now's Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Dan Burns, owner of a mechanical repair shop in St. Paul, Minnesota, about car problems caused by the cold.

Burns recommends that anyone driving in very cold weather should have some cold weather gear, such as a blanket and a snow shovel, in the vehicle. If you do break down, it could be be a long wait for a tow truck.


  • Dan Verbeck, reporter for KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, a member of the Here & Now Contributors Network. He tweets @dan_verbeck.
  • Dan Burns, owner of Lloyd's Automotive, a mechanical repair shop in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This segment aired on January 6, 2014.