Chicago area wind chills hit dangerous lows at -35, leading to floods, canceled schools and creative YMCA solutions

CHICAGO, IL – The city of Chicago is facing dangerous cold temperatures with wind chills dipping as low as -35. Despite some sun on Tuesday, the high temperature is expected to reach only one degree, according to Accuweather Tracy Butler. The severe cold has led to frozen or broken water pipes in homes and businesses, causing flooding and water damage.

In Illinois, a Wind Chill Warning expired at noon on Tuesday, while a Wind Chill Advisory remains in effect in several counties until early Wednesday morning. Similarly, in northwest Indiana, a Wind Chill Advisory is expected to continue until Wednesday morning as well.

In response to the extreme temperatures, Chicago Public Schools have been forced to cancel classes and after-school activities, leading to parents having to find alternative arrangements for their children. The YMCA has stepped in by organizing emergency “cold day out camps” for CPS students across the city.

The frigid temperatures are also affecting travel, with numerous flight cancellations reported at O’Hare and Midway airports. On the roadways, vehicles have been stalling due to the cold, and even electric vehicle owners have faced challenges finding working charging stations.

To help individuals cope with the cold, the city of Chicago has opened warming centers, with some locations available 24/7 through Wednesday. Additionally, other Chicago-area counties and cities, including Gary, Indiana, have opened warming centers to provide shelter for those in need.

Experts are warning that with such extreme wind chills, frostbite and hypothermia can set in within minutes. They are strongly advising individuals to stay indoors if possible, and to check on their neighbors, especially the elderly and vulnerable. As the city and surrounding areas grapple with these dangerous temperatures, everyone is encouraged to take necessary precautions to stay safe and warm during this cold snap.