John Perry walks down the street with supplies to see if he has power at his home in Indianapolis, Indiana, January 6, 2014. REUTERS/Brent Smith
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An arctic blast eased its grip on much of the U.S. on Wednesday, with winds calming and the weather warming slightly a day after temperature records -- some more than a century-old -- shattered up and down the Eastern Seaboard.In Atlanta, where a record low of 6 degrees Fahrenheit (-14 Celsius) hit early Tuesday, fountains froze over, a 200-foot (60-meter) Ferris wheel shut down and Southerners had to dig out winter coats, hats and gloves they almost never have to use. The forecast Wednesday was sunny and 42 degrees (5 Celsius).Farther south, Birmingham, Alama, dipped to a low of 7 (-14 Celsius), four degrees colder than the old mark, set in 1970 .The deep freeze dragged on in the Midwest.An estimated 190 million people in the U.S. were subjected to the polar vortex's icy blast.PJM Interconnection, which operates the power grid that serves more than 61 million people in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and South, asked users to conserve electricity because of the cold, especially in the morning and late afternoon.
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