CHICAGO (CBS) — Extreme and dangerous cold has settled in for the Chicago area, with temperatures plunging into the single digits for the second day in a row.
The mercury fell as low as 3 degrees overnight, with wind chills making it feel like 11 below zero at times. It won’t get much better during the day, with highs expected to reach only about 14 and wind chills lingering around or below zero.
It might be a holiday, but utility must go on along State Street in Bronzeville, despite the snow and cold. Crews bundled up because they could be out in conditions that are well below freezing for several hours.
The frigid temperatures didn’t stop Monique Hart from getting out early Monday in Hammond to do some shoveling. She drove over from Englewood to help an elderly relative, and that woman’s neighbors.
“Helping out a neighbor, elderly, but this is what I do, and it’s just some more snow, and I don’t see a street cleaner out here, but it’s okay, because we still got to make a way to move the snow for us today, because we got to get up tomorrow and move,” she said.
A lake-effect snow band overnight added to some already impressive totals over the weekend. Up to an inch and a half of extra snow fell in this latest round, after a winter storm Friday into Saturday dumped 5 inches in Chicago and up to 10 inches in the suburbs.
The fresh snow made for slow going on the expressways as the snow fell faster than plows and salt trucks could clear it.
Along the Lakefront Trail, the city has posted signs warning people to stay away from the lake, where it is extremely icy, and frigid water has been crashing up on shore.
If you’re out shoveling, working, walking or playing in the cold for an extended period of time, you definitely need to be aware of the signs of frostbite.
“People shouldn’t be in a situation that, if they themselves are at a stage where they’re trying to warm their skin, but then they’re cold again – like, let’s say they’re outside, and they somehow get something warm – they should be trying to find a place that they will end up being warm completely. Because that cold then warm then cold again can be even more damaging than just the cold,” said Dr. Jim DeVries, of Rush University Medical Center.
The middle of the week will bring at least a bit of relief from the bitter blast, as temperatures should rise to the upper 30s on Tuesday, with a a mix of rain and snow in the evening.
Temperatures could reach the 30s again on Wednesday and then drop to the low 20s on Thursday, before another round of arctic temperatures to start the weekend.
Temperatures could get down to zero early Friday, when temperatures likely won’t get out of the single digits.