Chicago (WLS) — Bitter cold weather hit the Chicago area Friday following a winter blizzard.
Across the city and downtown on Friday, people were bracing for frigid temperatures, with some shoveling snow that fell Thursday night.
Friday morning’s wind chill was as low as -40 degrees in some areas, with temperatures below zero. The cold is expected to continue, with wind chill well below zero throughout the day.
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The snow started to move on Thursday, dropping the Chicago area into the early evening. Now all we have left is high winds and biting cold.
Hundreds of flights canceled again Friday at O’Hare and Midway airports due to severe cold
Several inches of snow were seen in some suburbs on Friday.
Speaker: 2.5 inches
Romeoville: 2.5 inches
Elmhurst: 2.3 inches
Peotones: 2.3 inches
British stone.Charles 2 inches
Downtown: 2 inches
With severe cold comes many dangers, and any skin that is visible in the air can get frostbite very quickly.
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The weather is still creating dangerous conditions on Chicago-area roads, with icing and blowing snow.
In northwest Indiana, Indiana Sheriff Glen Fifield said lanes of I-65 were blocked at the I-94 interchange because trucks were unable to clear the ramp. INDOT crews arrive with the sand so the truck can climb up the slope.
Fifield said roads there were poor in visibility and there were dozens of crashes overnight.
Indiana State Police said crews would remain on the road through the night to ensure drivers reached their destinations safely.
In the southern suburbs, some drivers said the roads were actually easy to keep to the right because there was so little traffic.
There were some icy spots along the way and people said they were slowing down, but for the most part the machines had cleared the way for drivers.
Mike March has been braving this storm on his trip from Boston to Milwaukee, and he ran into some danger last night.
“I was going to make it through last night, but I just can’t seem to see,” March said. “As the weather changed, I couldn’t see the wind so I just parked it in a hotel for the night. I’ll do the trip while I can see, but the wind is still pretty bad outside.”
So drivers will continue to deal with strong winds throughout the day
Chicago has heating centers at 6 locations across the city
IDOT spokeswoman Maria Castaneda said that while most of the snow on the highway has been cleared, freezing temperatures will reduce the effectiveness of road salt. Castaneda also said drivers should be concerned about black ice on bridges and overpasses.
Metra runs a Saturday schedule on Fridays. Cold temperatures forced Metra to reduce the maximum speed of trains, causing some delays.
Winter weather also poses problems for Chicago’s airports during the busy holiday travel season.
Meanwhile, in downtown Chicago, Tricia Sheridan felt the frigid weather as she returned home from her night nursing shift.
“It just stings the eye,” Sheridan said. “You feel instant icicles on your eyelashes. Burn your nose. Try to cover everything up.”
People in the Loop wear several layers, but they still don’t think it’s enough.
Ronnie Knowles had to head out to work at Navy Pier, and the wait for a warm CTA bus to arrive seemed like an eternity.
“You have to dress well for this because it’s definitely cold because I wear layers to make sure I’m warm enough to get where I’m going,” Knowles said.
Bank signs along Wacker Drive read minus nine degrees. Combine gusty conditions with arctic numbers and it feels more like -30.
Eric Courtney says Chicagoans live for it.
“It’s beautiful,” she said. “This is Chicago. What else can I say?”
Meanwhile, while some are juggling holiday errands at the last minute, many plan to stay indoors until the cold snap passes.
“Spent the rest of the day at home,” Romeo Lee said. “Sitting in the house and nothing else. I’m not even coming back today. Last night was enough for me.”
Chicago law requires residential buildings to have an indoor temperature of at least 68 degrees from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The lowest temperature at other times is 66 degrees. Landlords and property owners could face fines.
Call 311 to report a calorie deficit. For more information, visit: www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/bldgs/supp_info/chicago-heat-ordinance.html.
ComEd prepares for power outages
ComEd said it was able to quickly help people during a power outage.
ComEd customers can text 26633 (COMED) to report an outage and receive recovery information, and follow ComEd on Twitter or Facebook. Customers may also report incidents by calling 1-800 EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661), at ComEd.com/report, or using the ComEd app.
Stay tuned to ABC7 Eyewitness News and ABC7Chicago.com for the latest forecast and snowfall figures as the winter storm approaches.
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