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Polar vortex freezes over Hell

Last updated 17:01 09/01/2014
Hell, Michigan
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ICY: Town in Michigan of 600, named Hell, freezes over making it dangerous for many people to venture outside.

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North America's polar vortex is cold enough for Hell to freeze over, literally.

Temperatures in the town of Hell, Michigan, dropped to -20 degrees Celsius and the 600 residents in the area had to deal with snow so deep many vehicles were stranded, ITV reported.

Dangerously cold polar air snapped decades-old records as it spread through the US and eastern Canada, making it hazardous to venture outside and keeping many schools and businesses shuttered.  

Officials warned the temperatures were "dangerously cold" and people should be aware of the risk of frostbite, which could take minutes to set in.

Hell is 96km west of Detroit, and was dubbed Hell on October 13, 1841.

Monday's (local time) bitterly cold temperatures broke records in Chicago, at -27C, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, where the mercury fell to -25C. Records also fell in Oklahoma and Texas.

Forecasters said about 187 million people in all could feel the effects of the polar vortex by the time it spread across the country.

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