Nightly News   |  January 03, 2014

Record Snow Blankets Massachusetts

Downtown Boston awoke to a deep freeze after a record 10.6 inches fell on the city. NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> reporter: in boston . 9 degrees. 7 degrees below wind chill . this morning 2 with a wind chill pushing minus 20. freezing this city in its tracks. boston awoke to a deep freeze . snow packed streets and sidewalks largely empty. many shops dark and still after a record 10.6 inches fell on the city yesterday. about a foot in all when the last few flakes landed this morning.

>> it is a good thing when the public heeds the advice we give about staying off the roads or going home early because that enables us to help everybody.

>> reporter: on the north shore , roughly two feet of snow in parts. on the south shore , icy flooding. street signs caked in white. along with a weekend's worth of cleanup duty ahead made easier by the fluffy dry powder or brutally cold temperatures.

>> it is freezing.

>> i'm layered up. i have four pairs of pants on and four sweatshirts. i'm cold.

>> reporter: one sign said 15 degrees when it was the really 6 at the time. with wind chills expected to plunge well below zero again overnight, hospitals are on stand-by to treat people exposed to the bitter air. massachusetts general reported no frostbite emergencies through early afternoon despite how quickly trouble develops.

>> within three minutes with the wind chill the way it is now, you can start to get damage to the skin if you are not appropriately covered.

>> in three minutes?

>> roughly three minutes.

>> parts of the state will see 50 below zero .

>> reporter: from minnesota to maine the priority for many is staying warm as a deep arctic chill threatens to set records in a part of the country proud of its heartiness. so cold the governor in minnesota ordered schools closed.

>> help my dad shovel the snow and stay inside and keep warm.

>> reporter: in philly, a challenge just to get out. some ditching the spinning wheels.

>> it's bad out here.

>> reporter: it's tough on firefighters, braving frigid work conditions in nebraska, detroit, vermont.

>> we are having trouble with the water. the trucks are freezing up.

>> reporter: a teeth-chattering cold for those who have to be out and warnings for those across the frost belt to head in. at least 13 deaths have been tied to the storm system. here in boston overnight, some 600 calls poured into the mayor's 24-hour hotline. an official in boston said only four of those were people looking for a warm