By Jim Williams

Chicago (CBS) — It was so quiet downtown Wednesday, you could imagine the tumbleweed blowing by.

Lyft driver Jeanette Finn normally has 14 passengers during the morning rush hour. Today, she said she probably had four.

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“Downtown, I’ve never seen this empty.”

In the Block 37 Pedway, even Starbucks was closed.

It was just as quiet at Union Station.

Lake Shore Drive had less traffic than a holiday morning.

The dangerous cold kept workers home all over the Chicago area.

“My whole office got told to work from home. Too cold out,” Tyler Briesath said.

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Attorney Alan Mills was thinking safety when he closed the Uptown People’s Law Center.

“We did so because I want staff to be there warm and safe on Friday,” Mills said. “I don’t want anybody showing up with frostbite.”

With schools closed, some teachers, like Lauren Sachs, had the day off.

“A lot of our students walk to school so we are worried about them and their safety so we’re glad they’re all home – warm and safe,” Sachs said.

Peter Sakoufakis, the manager of Eggsperience on Broadway said he kept his restaurant open because he saw an opportunity.

“I just thought all these restaurants are closing, and we’re going to be busy,” Sakoufakis said.

The bitter cold caused hardship too. In Bronzeville, 76-year-old James Miller took the bus to a store only to find out it wasn’t open.

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“It’s disappointing and frustrating,” Miller said.