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At Least 12 Deaths Due To Onslaught Of Severe Winter Weather

Freezing rain and stinging winds slammed the Southwest Friday and made a strangely blank landscape out of normally sun-drenched regions of the nation.

At least 12 known deaths across the nation during the onslaught of severe winter weather, including four homeless people who have died of hypothermia during this week's frigid weather in San Francisco, California:

"Santa Clara County sheriff's Lt. Dave Lera said at a news conference Friday afternoon that the victims were all men in their late 40s or early 50s.

"I've met with the doctors and they informed me that hypothermia played a role in all of the deaths," Lera said.

The men's names and exact ages were not released, but Lera said three of the victims died at homeless encampments in San Jose, while a fourth died in a garage "with the door opened."

The weather service has issued a freeze warning for late Saturday into Sunday morning for the entire San Francisco and Monterey Bay Area except for the city of San Francisco itself. The warning notes there will be an increased risk of hypothermia for those outside overnight, when the temperature is forecast to dip to 31 in San Jose."

According to census reports, 7,631 homeless people are living in Santa Clara County, many more than the number of shelter beds.

The Homeless Shelter Directory provides listings of homeless shelters and homeless service organizations nationwide. The listing includes all resources necessary to help the needy.

Even if you aren't in need of shelter or other assistance, the need for volunteers to keep the shelters operational is great, so please consider offering your help, if you're able to do so.

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