Extreme Cold Leads To 9 Deaths, Forces Escaped Inmate To Turn Himself In

Tyler Durden's picture

The polar vortex came, saw, and is on its way out, and now comes the time for the damage report. As Reuters reports, "At least nine deaths have been reported across the country connected with the polar air mass that swept over North America during the past few days. Authorities have put about half of the United States under a wind chill warning or cold weather advisory.... Homeless shelters and public buildings took in people who were freezing outside. Daniel Dashner, a 33-year-old homeless man who typically sleeps under a bridge on Milwaukee's south side, said he opted to seek a spot at a shelter on Monday night. "Usually if I have four or five blankets, I can stay pretty warm, but when that wind is blowing, I don't care how many blankets I have, the wind blows right through me," he said, as temperatures dropped to minus 6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 21 degrees Celsius)."

Among the deaths reported was a 51-year-old homeless man in Columbus, Georgia, whose body was found in an empty lot after spending the night outdoors.


Two men died in Westerport, Massachusetts, while duck hunting on Tuesday when their boat capsized, dropping them into a frigid river, officials said. A third man was rescued.


A large avalanche in backcountry outside the Colorado ski resort area of Vail killed one person on Tuesday and caught up three others who survived and were being rescued, officials said. Avalanche danger in the area was rated as "considerable" due to high winds and recent heavy snows, said Spencer Logan, forecaster with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Reuters with more on the geographic impact:

Major U.S. cities were in the grip of temperatures well below freezing, with Chicago seeing 2 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 17 C), Detroit 0 F (minus 18 C), Pittsburgh 5 F (minus 15 C), Washington 19 (minus 7 C) and Boston 15 F (minus 9 C).


New York's Central Park recorded the lowest temperature for the date, 4 Fahrenheit (minus 16 C), rising to 9 F (minus 13 C) on Tuesday afternoon with wind chills making it feel much colder, meteorologists said.


Schools in Minneapolis and Chicago were closed for a second day on Tuesday, although Chicago plans to reopen schools on Wednesday. Cleveland remained below freezing after temperatures fell to minus 11 F (minus 24 C) on Monday, breaking a 130-year-old record.


Impassable snow and ice halted three Chicago-bound Amtrak trains on Monday, stranding more than 500 passengers overnight in northwestern Illinois.


In the normally mild south, Atlanta recorded its coldest weather on this date in 44 years, as the temperature dropped to 6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 14 degrees Celsius), while temperatures in northern Florida also briefly dropped below freezing, though the state's citrus crop was unharmed, according to a major growers' group.

On the other hand, there was some levity in the newsflow, when as AP reported, an escape inmate opted for the familiar warmth of prison and turned himself in.

Just how cold is it in Kentucky? Apparently cold enough for an escaped prisoner to decide to turn himself in. Authorities said the inmate escaped from a minimum security facility in Lexington on Sunday. As temperatures dropped into the low single digits Monday, officials say the man walked into a motel and asked the clerk to call police.


Robert Vick, 42, of Hartford told the clerk he wanted to turn himself in and escape the arctic air, Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said. Vick was checked out by paramedics and returned to Blackburn Correctional Complex, Roberts said.


"This was definitely of his own volition," she said. "It's cold out there, too cold to run around. I can understand why the suspect would turn himself in."


Vick would have been dressed in prison-issued khaki pants, a shirt and a jacket when he escaped, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Lamb said. Wind chill readings were 20 below zero Monday in Lexington.


The Lexington Fire Department treated Vick for hypothermia Monday evening, Roberts said. A call to the department was not immediately returned Tuesday morning.


Vick was serving a six-year sentence for burglary and criminal possession of a forged instrument at the time of the escape from Blackburn Correctional Center.

A forged instrument? Like a Federal Reserve note?

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GetZeeGold's picture



Turns out global warming is good for society....who knew?

Oh regional Indian's picture

The very last line in the article is the kicker.....hah.....


In case folks missed my health update...Pac northwest flu seems to be getting out of hand....stay healthy...




GetZeeGold's picture



Time Mag Flashback: 1974 Issue Warns of Man-Made 'Global Cooling'



Let's do the time warp again.....

Flakmeister's picture

Yeah, because Time Magazine always gets it right....


NoDebt's picture

Note to self:  When escaping prison, remember do so in May or June.

buzzsaw99's picture

A lot of people decide prison isn't a bad alternative to the cold enduring economic depression.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

License plate pressing skills and cigarette marketeering trump an advanced degree in lesbian granola studies, I do know that.

Seasmoke's picture

always plan your escapes after watching The Weather Channel.

buzzsaw99's picture

Definitely. It is no great feat to escape from minimum security. Now they will move him somewhere with higher walls.

firstdivision's picture

...that also contains a bit more violent residents.

Moe Hamhead's picture

3 hots and a cot don't look too bad after all.

firstdivision's picture

Free gym membership, with motivational support.

DeliciousSteak's picture

Just terrible to imagine someone freezing to death, all alone... So sad, so wrong.

Flakmeister's picture

Think of the poor schlubs on the Eastern Front....

new game's picture

checking in from MN, we be warming up from -15 today-above zero and some calling it warm.

short sleeves by friday at 30plus degrees. seriously a guy was out in shorts with minus 48 windchill.

yea he looked like a dosh bag...histrionic behavior-i'm special dumb fuck...

GetZeeGold's picture



Intelligent layering is key.....make sure you have a good pair of shorts with you.

Dre4dwolf's picture

People would rather be in jail than be outside lol.

Yea its kinda cold.


Papasmurf's picture

Vick was serving a six-year sentence for burglary and criminal possession of a forged instrument at the time of the escape from Blackburn Correctional . . .

Vick would have been free if he had forged a mortgage backed security.

Flakmeister's picture

An analysis of the excess mortality rate over the past week will likely reveal a lot more than 9 deaths attributable to the cold...

Extremes kill, granted heat does more so than cold...

Don't worry, the cold is leaving to be replaced with our usual abnormally high temps that are the new norm... 

Edit: Factoid of the day

The globally-averaged temperature for November 2013 was the highest for November since record keeping began in 1880. November 2013 also marks the 37th consecutive November and 345th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.

From http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/, the December analysis will be out on the 15th...

Debugas's picture

Invisible hand of a free market has just killed 9 people

Liberals should applaude it

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Who knew law enforcement could be so easy.  All we need to do now is figure some way to reduce the temperature on WS.

That apparently is the only way in which the Feds and SEC will do their jobs.

Flakmeister's picture

The Jet Stream is still pretty fucked up:


Compare it with the Antartica version


Edit: In case you were not aware, the above animations are almost real time (3 hr delay)

Flakmeister's picture

One benefit of this cold is that a lot of tree eating bugs that have had their ranges extended with increased warmth may be temporarily prevented from moving further north...

For example Google Spruce Bud Worm

shovelhead's picture


At least Al Gore had the sense to give up that schtick and sell out to the Muzzies.

Flakmeister's picture

This would apply to you:

MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—The so-called polar vortex caused hundreds of injuries across the Midwest today, as people who said “so much for global warming” and similar comments were punched in the face.

Authorities in several states said that residents who had made ignorant comments erroneously citing the brutally cold temperatures as proof that climate change did not exist were reporting a sharp increase in injuries to the face and head regions.

In an emergency room in St. Paul, Harland Dorrinson, forty-one, was waiting to be treated for bruising to the facial area after he made a crack about how the below-freezing temperatures meant that climate-change activists were full of shit.

“I’d just finished saying it and boom, out of nowhere someone punched me in the face,” he said. “This polar vortex is really dangerous.”

The meteorology professor Davis Logsdon, of the University of Minnesota, issued a safety warning to residents of the states hammered by the historic low temperatures: “If you are living within the range of the polar vortex and you have something idiotic to say about climate change, do not leave your house.”

toady's picture

We have the same problem here in AZ, only on the other end of the scale.

The cold-cocking usually occurs when someone says 'hot enough for ya?' In July or August.

22winmag's picture

Even the goddamn Chinese horned beetles infesting New England are dead dead dead!

Flakmeister's picture

Now if we could only deep freeze those goddam Carp...

swmnguy's picture

Yeah, it's been pretty much Butt-Ass cold here in Minneapolis. Sunday night the house was making was freaky cracking and groaning noises.  Make all the jokes you want, but it was in the mid-20s below 0 Fahrenheit, and all the different materials in the house were contracting differently and it was kind of scary.  The last thing I wanted was for a window to shatter in that kind of cold.

I grew up in the country a few hours west of here, and I don't remember it being this cold since then, in the 1970s and early '80s.  Out there the wind blows all the time, so the danger from cold is a lot worse even at a warmer temperature. And the snow on the ground blows around and can cause whiteout conditions on a cloudless day.  People freeze to death within feet of their house or car because they can't find it.  I remember once when I was a kid going out to turn on a propane heater in the well house, about 50 feet from the back door.  I couldn't see the well house.  Fortunately I tied a rope around my waist and the other end to the backdoor handrail.  I headed out in the direction of the well house, but didn't hit it so I fed out rope and walked in an arc until the rope snagged on something. Then I took in rope and when I was within about 10 feet of the well house, I could see it.  If I hadn't been told to use the rope I'd have been one dead 10 year-old.

Today school's back in session here in the Twin Cities, and across most of Minnesota.  It was about -10º F. at the bus stop, but it'll get into the low single-digits above by afternoon.  And the wind has died down,which is a blessing.

People are bitching that we've all turned into wimps and the Government Nanny-State shouldn't have closed school but I disagree.  At least now we're starting to admit that the schools are the taxpayer-funded daycare provider for low-wage employers.  When we were kids usually Mom didn't work outside the home so parents had more leeway to decide when to send their kids to school or not.  And suitable winter gear was cheap.  Sure, today you can buy all this high-tech stuff, but only if you can spend a lot of money.  If you don't have the money to spend hundreds of dollars suiting up each of your kids, in stuff they'll outgrow by next fall, you go to Wal-Mart and buy Chinese-made winter coats and gloves.  Apparently they're made by the Southern Chinese, because they look like winter gear but they suck at keeping you warm.  A plastic coat with acryilic fur and polyester batting in it doesn't do nearly what a heavy-ass, stinky wool coat used to in the cold and wind.  And the shitty boots and gloves?  Galoshes with felt liners, and then you put your feet into bread bags to keep the snow from getting your socks wet (clean out all the breadcrumbs first, or the other kids will laugh at you) are much better.

So yeah, it's cold.  And as I learned growing up out there, weather can kill you and it won't even care.