(Reuters) – Tens of millions of Americans braved Arctic-like temperatures as low as minus 56 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 49 Celsius) on Thursday that paralyzed the U.S. Midwest and were blamed for at least 21 deaths.

Warmer weather was on the way, but that offered little comfort to vulnerable populations such as the homeless and elderly enduring cold that caused frostbite in minutes and made being outside potentially deadly.

Officials across multiple states linked numerous deaths

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