The Latest: Texas redoubling efforts to help the homeless

 
 
Updated 1/2/2018 2:30 PM
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  • Steam rises above the waters of the Mississippi River underneath the Eads Bridge as the temperature hovers around -1 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in St. Louis. Cold temperatures will stay throughout the week. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

    Steam rises above the waters of the Mississippi River underneath the Eads Bridge as the temperature hovers around -1 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in St. Louis. Cold temperatures will stay throughout the week. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP) Associated Press

  • Pedestrians are bundled up against frigid temperatures, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Chicago.

    Pedestrians are bundled up against frigid temperatures, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Ice crystals form on a window in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. Bone-chilling cold gripped much of the U.S. as 2018 began, breaking century-old records and leading to several deaths that authorities attributed to exposure to the dangerously low temperatures.

    Ice crystals form on a window in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. Bone-chilling cold gripped much of the U.S. as 2018 began, breaking century-old records and leading to several deaths that authorities attributed to exposure to the dangerously low temperatures. Associated Press

  • Steam rises from Lake Superior as the ship St. Clair comes to harbor during some of the coldest temps of the year, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, at Canal Park in Duluth, Minn. The St. Clair is a self-unloader built in 1976 at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., and is 770 feet long and has 26 hatches that open into 5 cargo holds, providing a load capacity of 45,000 tons. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)

    Steam rises from Lake Superior as the ship St. Clair comes to harbor during some of the coldest temps of the year, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, at Canal Park in Duluth, Minn. The St. Clair is a self-unloader built in 1976 at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., and is 770 feet long and has 26 hatches that open into 5 cargo holds, providing a load capacity of 45,000 tons. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • Steam rises from Lake Superior as the ship St. Clair comes to harbor during some of the coldest temps of the year, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, at Canal Park in Duluth, Minn. The St. Clair is a self-unloader built in 1976 at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., and is 770 feet long and has 26 hatches that open into 5 cargo holds, providing a load capacity of 45,000 tons. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)

    Steam rises from Lake Superior as the ship St. Clair comes to harbor during some of the coldest temps of the year, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, at Canal Park in Duluth, Minn. The St. Clair is a self-unloader built in 1976 at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., and is 770 feet long and has 26 hatches that open into 5 cargo holds, providing a load capacity of 45,000 tons. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • While many of the geese along the Des Moines River in Ottumwa took shelter from the cold by ducking under a wing for a New Year's Day nap, this bald eagle ate his lunch on the ice Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. The bitterly cold temperatures have reduced the amount of open water, concentrating waterfowl and eagles alike in those places where water is running. (Matt Milner/The Ottumwa Courier via AP)

    While many of the geese along the Des Moines River in Ottumwa took shelter from the cold by ducking under a wing for a New Year's Day nap, this bald eagle ate his lunch on the ice Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. The bitterly cold temperatures have reduced the amount of open water, concentrating waterfowl and eagles alike in those places where water is running. (Matt Milner/The Ottumwa Courier via AP) Associated Press

  • April Nickila and Christina Liesmaki try to stay warm while waiting in subzero temperatures to enter U.S. Bank Stadium to watch an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Minneapolis. (Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP)

    April Nickila and Christina Liesmaki try to stay warm while waiting in subzero temperatures to enter U.S. Bank Stadium to watch an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Minneapolis. (Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP) Associated Press

  • People visit a snow-covered Cloud Gate at Millennium Park in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. Bitter cold temperatures are affecting parts of the U.S.

    People visit a snow-covered Cloud Gate at Millennium Park in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. Bitter cold temperatures are affecting parts of the U.S. Associated Press

  • Icicles hang from the fountain at Beau View condominiums in Biloxi, Miss., on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. A hard freeze hit South Mississippi overnight and temperatures are expected to remain near or below freezing for the rest of the week.(John Fitzhugh/The Sun Herald via AP)/The Sun Herald via AP)

    Icicles hang from the fountain at Beau View condominiums in Biloxi, Miss., on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. A hard freeze hit South Mississippi overnight and temperatures are expected to remain near or below freezing for the rest of the week.(John Fitzhugh/The Sun Herald via AP)/The Sun Herald via AP) Associated Press

  • Ice covers a pansy near the fountain at Beau View condominiums in Biloxi, Miss., on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. A hard freeze hit South Mississippi overnight and temperatures are expected to remain near or below freezing for the rest of the week. (John Fitzhugh/The Sun Herald via AP)

    Ice covers a pansy near the fountain at Beau View condominiums in Biloxi, Miss., on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. A hard freeze hit South Mississippi overnight and temperatures are expected to remain near or below freezing for the rest of the week. (John Fitzhugh/The Sun Herald via AP) Associated Press

  • Temperatures approach the high for the day 8 Fahrenheit (-13 Celsius) as the sun sets Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, behind downtown Kansas City, Mo. Bone-chilling cold gripped much of the central U.S. as 2018 began Monday, breaking low temperature records, icing over some New Year's celebrations and leading to at least two deaths attributed to exposure to the elements.

    Temperatures approach the high for the day 8 Fahrenheit (-13 Celsius) as the sun sets Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, behind downtown Kansas City, Mo. Bone-chilling cold gripped much of the central U.S. as 2018 began Monday, breaking low temperature records, icing over some New Year's celebrations and leading to at least two deaths attributed to exposure to the elements. Associated Press

  • Ice covers a pansy near the fountain at Beau View condominiums in Biloxi, Miss., on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. A hard freeze hit South Mississippi overnight and temperatures are expected to remain near or below freezing for the rest of the week. (John Fitzhugh/The Sun Herald via AP)

    Ice covers a pansy near the fountain at Beau View condominiums in Biloxi, Miss., on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. A hard freeze hit South Mississippi overnight and temperatures are expected to remain near or below freezing for the rest of the week. (John Fitzhugh/The Sun Herald via AP) Associated Press

  • A barge cuts through ice on the Ohio River as it passes under the West End Bridge, along the North Shore district in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. (Haley Nelson/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

    A barge cuts through ice on the Ohio River as it passes under the West End Bridge, along the North Shore district in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. (Haley Nelson/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP) Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Latest on the dangerously cold temperatures gripping much of the U.S. (all times local):

3:25 p.m.

Texas officials are redoubling efforts to help the homeless amid freezing temperatures.

The National Weather Service issued a hard freeze warning until Wednesday morning for parts of Central Texas, including Austin and south to San Antonio. A freeze warning for South Texas included McAllen, Edinburg, Pharr and Weslaco.

Tuesday's deep freeze stretched across a wide swath of the U.S., from South Texas to Canada and from Montana through New England. In Texas, freezing temperatures were reported in Amarillo, Lubbock, Dallas, Austin and Houston.

Organizations assisting the homeless fanned out Tuesday across Houston to provide blankets and other warm gear.

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1:40 p.m.

A Tennessee prison lost its main heating source on a frigid New Year's Day, and officials are trying to keep inmates and employees warm with extra blankets and portable heaters.

Tennessee Department of Correction spokeswoman Neysa Taylor says Riverbend Maximum Security Institution lost hot water pressure Monday, causing its boiler to go offline. The staff is assessing what caused the pressure loss and hasn't provided a timeline for its return.

Bobby Straughter, Assistant Commissioner of Operations, says crews worked overnight in extreme conditions to ensure everyone's safety.

Assistant Commissioner of Prisons David Sexton said the staff and inmates have been extremely understanding and cooperative.

State data show the maximum security facility held 787 inmates as of Nov. 30. It houses all of the state's male death row offenders.

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1:25 p.m.

Arctic temperatures are causing problems on waterways - for both waterfowl and boats.

Firefighters in Richmond, Virginia, freed a swan that was stuck for hours Monday in the middle of a frozen pond. Firefighters put a boat into the frozen pond near an apartment complex and broke up the ice around the swan, which eventually climbed up the embankment.

And in New York, The Poughkeepsie Journal reports that transportation officials suspended the Newburgh-Beacon commuter ferry service on Tuesday because of icy conditions on the Hudson River.

Poughkeepsie saw a record-breaking low of minus 10 degrees (-12 Celsius) on New Year's Day.

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12:35 p.m.

The National Weather Service says it was the coldest New Year's Day on record in Chicago with a high of 1 degree (-17 Celsius).

The bitter cold is continuing Tuesday, with wind chills forecast between minus 35 degrees (-37 Celsius) and negative 20 (-39 Celsius) in the Chicago area.

Forecasters are warning of frost bite and hypothermia risks and urging residents to take precautions, including wearing layers and a hat and gloves, covering exposed skin and bringing pets indoors.

The weather service has issued wind chill warnings for northwestern and central Illinois and wind chill advisories for the Chicago area and parts of central and southern Illinois.

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11:10 a.m.

Bitterly cold temperatures are causing troubles across a wide swath of the U.S., including in an Iowa city where the water tower froze.

The Waterloo suburb of Evansdale lost water service for a time Monday after temperatures fell to minus 20 degrees (-29 Celsius). Mayor Doug Faas (fahs) said Tuesday that water is being run directly from the wells into the system, bypassing the suspected ice blockage in the tower.

A city staffer is expected to climb the tower later Tuesday to see what's wrong and determine how to fix the problem.

In the northwest Indiana city of Lafayette, residents began hearing a hum that Duke Energy says is caused by extra power surging through utility lines to meet power demands during the Arctic blast. Monday's low fell to minus 16 degrees at the National Weather Service's Purdue Airport station in adjacent West Lafayette.

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9:37 a.m.

The bone-chilling cold gripping much of the U.S. is breaking century-old records and is being blamed on several deaths.

The National Weather Service issued wind chill advisories and freeze warnings Tuesday covering a vast area from South Texas to Canada and from Montana through New England.

Authorities opened warming shelters in the South as temperatures dipped notably close to zero in Alabama and Georgia.

In Aberdeen, South Dakota, the mercury dropped to a record-breaking minus 32 (-36 Celsius). The city's previous New Year's Day record had stood for 99 years.

It's even cold in the Deep South, as temperatures plummeted early Tuesday to 14 (-10 Celsius) in Atlanta and 26 (-3 Celsius) as far south as New Orleans.

The cold is blamed in at least nine deaths in the past week.

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