Aiman Youssef can't catch a break with the weather.
First, Superstorm Sandy leveled his home and devastated most of his neighborhood in the New York City borough of Staten Island. Now, an arctic blast that forecasters warn can have deadly consequences is gripping the region.
Late Thursday, a gas-powered heater and a tent were the only defense Youssef had against the biting cold as he handed out jackets and sweaters at a makeshift supply depot he established to help his Midland Beach neighbors who, in some cases, are still struggling to get the power back on.
"A lot of people have been coming, so we give them jackets, we give them sweaters," he told CNN affiliate NY1. "Yeah, we are trying. We are trying our best to help them."
But even as he helped his neighbors, he wondered how long he could keep the heater running at the tent where some of his neighbors were seeking shelter. Gas, he said, is expensive.
Exposure to subfreezing temperatures has left at least three people dead in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, authorities said.
Icy road conditions also made for hazardous travel in North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee on Friday.
"The roads are pretty slick," said Amanda Rumball, a student who works at deSha's Restaurant in Kentucky's Fayette County.
"In Kentucky, you never know because the weather can change fast. It gets warm and it rains. Then it turns cold, so we can get a lot more ice than snow."
Authorities reported a bus accident on Interstate Highway 65, with a minor injury, and other car accidents Friday in the state's Fayette, Henry and Scott counties.
In Indiana, four Murray State University students were injured when their bus flipped. The bus had been on its way an indoor track meet at Indiana University.
Icy conditions also caused more than 200 wrecks around Charlotte, North Carolina, CNN affiliate WCNC reported. Twenty-two people were injured in those wrecks, it said, including at least two with life-threatening injuries.
National Weather Service forecasters urged caution early Friday as they warned that "bitterly cold conditions" were expected to continue across much of the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast into the weekend. They predicted 1 to 4 inches of snow for areas in the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic regions Friday, with the Carolinas and Tennessee Valley getting freezing rain.
By late Friday, winter weather advisories remained in effect for parts of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
The snow was expected to move later in the day into the eastern United States. It was not good news in portions of New York and New Jersey, where homes destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in places such as Staten Island and Far Rockaway, Queens, lacked basic utilities needed to restore heat.
With temperatures plummeting, warming centers were opened in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other areas, according to various emergency management officials.
In Asbury Park, New Jersey, a traditional polar bear club plunge into frigid waters had to be postponed because of the single-digit wind chill.
"It wouldn't be safe to have people out there in their bathing suits," said club spokesman Traudy Grande.
Schools shuttered, planes grounded
Travelers were already feeling the effects of the storm.
Approximately 100 flights were canceled at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Friday.
There were about 20 cancellations at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, according Mindy Hamlin, a spokeswoman.
Emily Richard, a spokeswoman for Nashville International Airport in Tennessee, said all inbound American Airlines flights for Thursday night and Friday morning were canceled.
Dozens of school systems in Tennessee and some in northern Georgia said they would be closed.
Schools in Raleigh, North Carolina, will close early, a spokesman with Wake County schools said.