Chicago bundles up against bitter cold

Deep freeze not expected to last long
January 2, 2008 2:40:19 PM PST
Dangerously cold temperatures had a grip on the Chicago area Wednesday, forcing residents to bundle up before venturing outdoors. A Wind Chill Advisory was in effect until 8 a.m., making it almost unbearable for those who have to spend long periods outside. Despite the dropping temperatures, Gina Hayes sacrificed comfort for beauty.

"Boots, layers, sweaters, scarf, no hat because of the hair. Earmuffs and scarf. Look good, but warm, it's brutal out here," said Hayes.

"Stay covered, stay warm, wear as many layers as you can, cover your head," said Pradeep Nayar. "I know I don't have my head covered, but I'm just used to it I guess."

Heat from the Chicago River created a thick mist as the water met the cold air Wednesday morning.

"I was prepared last night, I knew the forecast. I had the hat gloves, scarf laid out," said Margie O'Malley. "It's all about looking good and feeling warm."

"I'm freezing, I couldn't even get in my car this morning," said Tammy Ward. "But I'm all bundled up- layers of thermal underwear."

Many are fighting the cold by carrying a warm beverage - but nothing beats a nice warm coat - like the one Samantha Howell was wearing.

"I got a huge scarf underneath, too. (I) try to bundle up. We walked all the way from the South Loop, it's a good brisk walk," said Howell

The City of Chicago has six warming centers open, and more than 100 people took advantage of them. Teams will conduct well-being checks and visit the homeless. Those who need help should call the non-emergency number 311.

Residents are urged to check on neighbors who may need help.

This is a one-day cold spell. In the short term, there are warmer temperatures on the way.

"We get the consecutive cold days in February. But whenever they come, we're going to be ready," said Sheryl McGill, Human Services Commissioner.

Wednesday night, wind chills will be about negative five to negative 10 degrees, an improvement from the negative 20 felt Wednesday morning.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, temperatures in the Chicago area were in the teens, with lower 20s near the lake. ABC7's Mike Caplan predicted a "screaming" warm up to 50-degree temps over the weekend.