Arctic air grips Chicago

January 24, 2008 4:02:05 PM PST
Chicago remains in a deep freeze, but a thaw is in sight. Residents are urged to take precautions and check on their neighbors. Temperatures dropped to subzero and single digits throughout the morning.

"Last time I looked, the negative six degrees with the wind chill, so I got on four layers with the coat, sweater, long johns, shirt. Bigger sweater over that one," said Cory Jackson.

"(I've got) gloves. Scarf," said Dominique Stewart. But is that enough? "No, it's not. I need Eskimo clothes out here!"

Doctors at Rush University Medical Center have seen a few cases of frostbite and hypothermia and are expecting many more as the cold spell continues. They say, however, it's easy to avoid a trip to the hospital if you use a little common sense.

"If you think you're immune because you're a Chicagoan, and not a lot of gentlemen walking around with hats nowadays. But keeping on a hat, gloves, scarf," said Dr. Ed Ward, Rush University Medical Center.

Staying inside is the best option, especially for senior citizens. Experts say seniors are especially susceptible to problems in the extreme cold.

"Seniors have gone through a lot of decades of cold weather. So they feel that they're capable of handling it. And a lot of times they're taken by surprise," said Joyce Gallagher, Chicago Department on Aging.

At least one death has been blamed on the cold. City officials are urging neighbors to look in on their elderly neighbors. If they notice they are having any problems, call 311 and the Department of Human Services can check on them.