Weekly wrap-up: Brutal cold grips northeastern US; Australian town turned into 'war zone' after cyclone

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, AccuWeather staff writer
December 29, 2017, 10:28:16 AM EST

Extreme cold gripped the northeastern United States this week.

A new record low temperature, minus 34, was recorded at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire on Thursday morning.

In New York City's Bryant Park, a famed fountain froze in the frigid conditions.

View of Bryant Park's Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain as frozen water is suspended in the form of ice due to freezing low temperatures in New York City on December 28, 2017. Credit: RW/MediaPunch/IPX

The temperature dropped to -32 F Thursday morning in Watertown, New York, which set a new record for the date. The old record of -23 F was set in 1993.

"In many areas across the region, highs the past couple of days have been 10-15 degrees below what normal lows should be," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Danny Pydynowski said.

A woman died from exposure after a car crash in South Dakota, local officials said according to the Associated Press.

Police said an 83-year-old left her vehicle in search of help after crashing near Revillo. Search teams found her body in a ditch on Sunday.

Temperatures in the area were as low as 2 F on Sunday night.

Snowfall totals shattered records in Erie, Pennsylvania, this week.

Erie received 60.5 inches of snow from Christmas Eve to Dec. 26, creating a new two-day snowfall record for the state. Erie Police declared a snow emergency and encouraged everyone to stay off the roadways.

Residents took to social media to document just how much snow fell.

Two storms converged in time to deliver a white Christmas for many across the Northeast at the start of the week.

Snow blanketed the ground from western Pennsylvania and New York to Massachusetts and Maine.

While many residents were pleased with the picturesque scenes, the storm caused travel chaos in the Boston area.

Whiteout conditions on Monday morning briefly shut down traffic at Boston Logan International Airport and created hazardous driving conditions around the region.

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Tropical Cyclone Hilda battered western Australia this week, sweeping through a tourist town and an indigenous community, according to ABC News.

Police Sergeant Jennifer Boyle described the aftermath in Broome as a "war zone."

"There's a lot of debris, branches and leaves everywhere, and a few major trees have fallen through the night," she told ABC News.

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