A flow of cold Canadian air chilled the western and central parts of the nation Monday, pushing temperatures to record lows in at least 15 cities.
In Alaska, meanwhile, water began receding Monday after flooding caused by three days of heavy rain cut rail and highway links between Anchorage and Fairbanks and washed out land access to the coastal town of Seward.
Temperatures dropped to the 20s and 30s across much of the Rockies, the Plains and the Upper Mississippi Valley, and into the teens in parts of Nevada, the Rockies, South Dakota and Nebraska.
A 13-degree reading in North Platte, Neb., snapped the record 26 set in 1970, and Wheatridge, Colo., recorded 21 degrees, breaking the old record of 26 set in 1971.
Low temperature records were also recorded in New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Utah and Arizona.
In contrast, temperatures climbed into the 80s to around 90 degrees over much of the Southern Atlantic Coast states. The temperature at Charleston, S.C., International Airport reached 86 degrees, breaking the previous record for the day of 85. Jacksonville, Fla., reached a record high of 89 degrees.
Showers and thunderstorms extended from southeast Texas across the central Gulf Coast states. Rain also was widespread from New England across the Middle Atlantic Coast states and the Appalachian Mountains. Light rain mixed with snow fell from northeast Kansas into southeast Wisconsin.
Victims Seek Aid
The Mississippi and Missouri rivers remained well above flood stage Monday in Missouri, but most rivers in Illinois were expected to subside this week as victims of high water began applying for federal aid.
As Alaska Gov. Bill Sheffield flew over flood-ravaged areas north and south of Anchorage Monday, state and federal officials started surveying the damage, expected to be in the millions.
Sheffield issued a disaster declaration Sunday that allowed state agencies to help areas stricken when a windy storm hit south-central Alaska on Thursday and dumped up to 15 inches of rain.
In northwest Florida, storms that dumped more than 10 inches of rain in Pensacola Sunday flooded streets, caused gas leaks and knocked an emergency telephone system out of service. No serious injuries were reported.