CHICAGO (CBS) — As punishing cold temperatures are expected to plunge even more on Wednesday across much of the Midwest and parts of the northeast, millions of people are being urged to take precautions to stay safe. At least six polar-vortex related deaths have been reported.
Search the words “closed” and “Chicago” online you’ll quickly learn not much is going to be open Wednesday and with good reason.
Temperatures are dipping. Dangerous numbers, arctic air and record wind chill are expected.
With schools closed, the Chicago Park District is providing a safe and warm place to go with free “drop in activities” for kids of all ages between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
“For community members who may be forced to go to work, we have an opportunity for their kids to come out to the Chicago Park district and be a part of our drop in camp,” said Alonzo Williams, the Chicago Park District’s chief operating officer.
They’re prepared to host thousands.
“We’re not going to turn anybody away,” Williams said. “There is a registration process. Parents are able to register online.”
The park district will open 142 facilities. More than 150 warming centers, shelters for those in need, will stay open. Two will be open 24 hours.
“School is out, so we need to have somewhere for the kids to go,” Williams said. “We don’t want anybody to have to come out. But if you have to come out this is a viable option for you.”
Doors will be open at Healthy Hood in Pilsen until 8 a.m. Thursday.