Bitterly cold temperatures settle in again

January 24, 2009 3:48:20 PM PST
Below normal temperatures have settled in again over the Chicago area.

Dealing with single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chills seems to be part of life in Chicago, but after a colder-than-normal winter so far, people are seeking relief.

Residents and visitors bundled up Saturday all over town to stay warm so they could get their weekend chores done, and City of Chicago crews performed well-being checks to make sure seniors were staying safe.

"They can't get to the grocery store. Their family members don't live in the city. We're their family," said Sabrina Roberts of the Department of Family Support Services.

With temperatures dipping below freezing again, Roberts and her partner spent most of their day Saturday conducting those well-being checks and delivering food boxes to seniors and the homebound.

Some forecasters say the Artic temperatures are a part of cold trend gripping the area. So far, from December 2008 until now, only five days have been recorded as above 40-degrees, and only 17 days have been above normal.

"I just moved here a few weeks ago. It's a break from the snow, which is nice," Elise Sanders told ABC7 Chicago.

Sanders, a Los Angeles transplant, spent Saturday at the Lincoln Park conservatory's flower show, where spring is in the air. The show, which will continue well into the spring months, let a lot of Chicagoans escape winter, if only for just a few hours.

"Its way too cold to be outside. It's humid in here like the tropics. It's great," said Tony Begely, who also attended the show.

However, not everyone sees the single-digit temperatures in a negative light. At Hyde Park's Pizza Capri restaurant, cold weather keeps the kitchen hopping. It wasn't too tough getting a table Saturday, but the manager said the phones were hot.

"Our dining room has been slow because, I think, people don't want to come out in this weather. So, our deliveries are up," said manager Mutasem Harb.

City officials urge everyone to check on their neighbors and call 3-1-1 if you or someone you know doesn't have heat.