The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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January 7, 2014

Sub-zero temps close schools, offices in W. Pa.

Schools, courts and many government offices have closed as Pittsburgh and the rest of western Pennsylvania deal with sub-zero temperatures spawned by a "polar vortex" that has brought frigid air to much of the northern and eastern United States.

Pittsburgh set a record for the date late Monday when temperatures dipped to minus-7 degrees — and they continued falling overnight to minus-9. Temperatures weren't forecast to rise above zero until late afternoon, though a seasonably normal high of 26 was forecast for Wednesday.

Allegheny County opened five warming centers in and around the city, and several other suburbs were making facilities available, especially for the elderly or those with substandard utilities.

Newly inaugurated Mayor Bill Peduto ordered city police to bring homeless people from makeshift encampments to various shelters, as winds created chills as low as minus-30 degrees.

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