February 2015 – WEATHER – CHICAGO, Il. – The brutal cold returned Wednesday as an arctic front brought single digits and wind chills below zero to the Chicago area, but Thursday’s temperatures could set record lows. “Wind chills right now are 10 to 20 below already,” ABC7 Meteorologist Cheryl Scott said. “They’re going to continue to crash overnight.” The current record low of -7 for February 19 was set in 1936. Tomorrow’s high temperature will hover around 2 degrees, and the low could fall to -9. A wind chill advisory goes into effect at 6 p.m. CST Wednesday and lasts until Thursday at noon for the entire Chicago area. Chicago Public Schools announced they will be closed on Thursday in advance of the expected record-breaking cold. The YMCA said its centers will beef up staffing since the organization sees more children during the cold weather after school.
“It’s bone-chilling. But as long as you’re not out too long, it’s not too bad,” Kory Zasadzinski said. Mary Solomon walks the Adams Street Bridge from Union Station to her office every workday. “It’s terrible,” she said. James Futrell lives in the Loop and normally rides his bike to work. “It’s definitely cold. I feel bad for people who have to stay out here for sure,” Futrell said. Mike Crotty delivers sandwiches by bike for Uncle Sammy’s Sandwich Classics in Lincoln Park. The cold doesn’t keep him from his job. “It’s nice when it’s sunny out. But when it’s cloudy and cold, it’s really bad,” Crotty said.
Even in this cold, Aimee Sullivan plays platform tennis outside. She said she and the others layer, layer, layer. “We actually peel coats off. It gets warm out here,” Sullivan said. Health officials said Chicago commuters should also layer up, whether they’re driving or taking public transportation. “My main concern is sometimes the Amtrak freezes up. I come all the way down here and then have to go back home. So as long as everything’s running, I’m OK,” said Stan Lee, who takes the train to work. The Illinois Tollway activated 24-hour road patrols Tuesday. Patrol teams will scour roadways for stranded drivers. If a motorist runs out of gas, gets a flat or needs any other kind of help, they should call *999. Ice boulders are also being reported along Lake Michigan and Niagara Falls has frozen solid again. The cold weather caused a big, icy mess along Chicago’s lakefront. Chicago Park District officials closed the Lakefront Trail from Oak Street to North Avenue, a 3-mile stretch, because of large ice boulders covering it. That portion of the path will stay closed until crews are able to clear the trail. –ABC 7 News