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Eastern US Copes with Icy Cold

IT was so cold the Statue of Liberty stopped welcoming visitors. Washington, D.C., and a town in West Virginia simply shut down. (Cold closes down capital, Page 24.)

Across most of the eastern United States, record low temperatures closed schools, businesses, roads, and airports.

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From Kentucky to Maine, thousands of people were without electricity or drinking water, and utilities struggled to keep up with record demands for heat and power. Icy tree limbs snapped power lines, and water pipes and mains froze and burst.

At least 92 deaths have been blamed on the cold snap that began over the weekend. Record lows were recorded in dozens of cities, including -40 in St. Cloud, Minn., -22 in Louisville, Ky., -27 in Indianapolis, and -22 in Pittsburgh.

Hotels and shelters were full in 3-degree Manchester, N.H., so Roger Sasseville threw more logs on the fire and huddled in blankets with his family in their powerless home.

``We've got the refrigerator door open to keep the food cold,'' Mr. Sasseville said, eyeing the thermometer in their living room. ``It's down to 55 and this thing doesn't go any lower.''

The cold was a boon to farmers near the Mississippi River, allowing them to bring heavy equipment over ice and finish harvesting fields left soggy by last summer`s floods.

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