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A cold front which surged across the Canadian border late last week has trussed Cambridge and the rest of New England into the coldest bundle in 12 years.
Temperatures plummeted to well below zero last night, and broke thermometers in Old Maine, where the official reading was minus 30 degrees. Here in Cambridge milk bottles shatter regularly, and ice on the sidewalks has turned to stone.
Anti-freeze sales have soared; auto mechanics have been out in force, answering calls from unprepared motorists. Buses and trains find customers' numbers swelled by commuters who can't fight the cold, or whose cars refuse to start.
Massachusetts schools outside the Boston area have been closed. Monday, a man attempting to start his car died in front of his house when carbon monoxide seeped into the car's closed interior; another man stepped out of the cold into a drug store, then collapsed.
A temporary low, bringing warmer weather and snow, is expected to relieve Cambridge late tonight. A second cold high, due in Thursday, will end this, however, once more pushing temperatures down near or below zero.
Cambridge citizens are reportedly bearing up well under the sudden strain, bundling into more warm clothes, and grumbling to keep warm. There is one consoling fact for those who considered yesterday quite chilly at 4 degrees: the record low for Jan. 14 was set in 1914--8 below.
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