CHICAGO — It will be a frigid Wednesday in Chicago, and experts are urging people to stay indoors if possible and check on loved ones who live alone.
Wind chills dipped to 25 below zero overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service, and the arctic blast will continue through the day.
Early Wednesday, some brave souls headed to the lakefront to view the sunrise over the icy lake.
“Thankfully, we’ve kind of made it through the coldest temps that was earlier this morning,” said meteorologist Jake Petr with the National Weather Service. “And now, we’re gradually warming up a little bit, but there are still wind chills in the negative teens and even negative 20s.”
Petr said the agency is urging people to bundle up in multiple layers if they have to spend any time outdoors.
“If you do have to go out, try to take breaks, so that you can avoid any potential frostbite. When wind chills are as low as this, especially when it gets into the -20 degree range or lower, frostbite can be possible in fewer than 30 minutes,” he said.
Wednesday’s high is expected to reach just 11 degrees, with wind chills as low as 13 below zero and wind gusts of up to 15 miles per hour.
By 5 a.m. Thursday, temperatures are expected to reach 18 degrees and a high of 30 is expected later in the day. There is a 40 percent chance of snow overnight Thursday.
Those without heat are encouraged to go to a city warming center or call 311 for immediate assistance. All warming centers are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday and the Garfield Community Service Center, 10 S. Kedzie Ave., is open 24/7.
In a news release, the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications encouraged Chicagoans to take the following precautions during this cold snap:
- To prevent frozen pipes, make sure that warm air is circulating throughout the home and keep a trickle of water running. If pipes freeze, do not use candles or any open flame to thaw them. Use a hair dryer or heating pad. For more info visit www.chicago.gov/water
- The Chicago Fire Department does not recommend using space heaters. If one must be used, be sure they are UL certified and at least 3 feet from anything that can ignite. Use of a space heater in children’s rooms should be monitored closely as children sometimes move them close to or into the bed with tragic results.
- If extension cords are used, they should be rated at 15 amps minimum and never put cords under carpet. With the added demand on furnaces and boilers, CFD also reminds residents are required by ordinance to have working carbon monoxide detectors to protect against carbon monoxide leaks from a heating system that could be fatal over time.
- Keep pets indoors, check on neighbors and family members and those who live alone.
- Motorists should take extra precautions to winterize vehicles and have necessary supplies on-the-go, including cell phone chargers.
- Avoid unnecessary trips outside-if you must go out, limit the time you stay outside.
Check out more photos from Wednesday’s sunrise here:
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