Pre-med student, 18, freezes to death in -51F wind chill – as another 11 people die across the Midwest and record-breaking cold snap heads for the East Coast

Thursday, January 31, 2019
By Paul Martin

At least 12 people have died as record-breaking low temperatures continue to wreak havoc across Midwest
University of Iowa student, Gerald Belz, 18, was found outside an academic hall just before 3am Wednesday
The National Weather Service said the wind chill around 3am in Iowa was negative 51F degrees
Two people were found dead outside their homes in Detroit, Michigan overnight, while another five were killed earlier in the week in a snow storm that plagued the Midwest
The painfully cold weather system that put much of the Midwest into a historic deep freeze is set to linger on Thursday but it is now pushing east and is forecast to lose some of its bite
The Midwest was still experiencing icy conditions, brutal winds and temperatures as low as -30F on Thursday
The polar vortex pushed eastward and states including Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania were experiencing bitterly cold temperatures Thursday morning
More than 2,000 flights were canceled and more than 3,500 delayed on Thursday
Temperatures plunged as low as -42F in Minnesota and -31F in North Dakota on Wednesday
The phenomenon caused surreal scenes throughout the region, including Lake Michigan freezing over, parts of Niagara Falls solidifying into frozen stillness and blocks of ice covering the river in downtown Chicago

By VALERIE EDWARDS
DAILYMAIL.COM
31 January 2019

The deadly polar vortex wreaking havoc across the United States has left at least 12 people dead, including a college student who was found in the freezing cold at the University of Iowa.

Authorities said the body of Gerald Belz was found behind an academic hall just before 3am on Wednesday by campus police.

The 18-year-old was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. While officials believe his death was related to dangerously low temperatures at the time he was found, officials have not given a specific cause of death.

The National Weather Service says the wind chill in Iowa around 3am was negative 51F degrees.

Belz’s family said their son was studying pre-med and that he had just graduated last May from Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School. His family told KCRG that doctors did not find alcohol in his system.

The painfully cold weather system that put much of the Midwest into a historic deep freeze is set to linger on Thursday.

It is still setting low-temperature records in parts of Illinois and Iowa with temperatures at -38F and -30F respectively. At its worst, the weather system caused temperatures to plunge to -42F on Wednesday in parts of the Midwest.

Disruptions caused by the cold will persist, including power outages and canceled flights and trains. The cold halted postal services across the Midwest on Wednesday and Thursday and more than 2,000 flights were canceled and over 1,500 delayed on Thursday.

The phenomenon caused surreal scenes throughout the region, including Lake Michigan freezing over, parts of Niagara Falls solidifying into frozen stillness and blocks of ice covering the river in downtown Chicago.

The deep freeze has also caused at least a dozen deaths since Saturday with some dying in weather-related traffic accidents and others from freezing to death due to apparent exposure to the cold.

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