Chicago area plunges into deep freeze

February 9, 2011 4:34:54 AM PST
With a wind chill advisory in effect until noon Wednesday, the city of Chicago is asking people to check on the sick, elderly and people who live alone.

Wind chills of 10 to 20 below zero are expected.

On Tuesday morning the temperature dipped to 8 degrees, but by Wednesday morning lows of 5 below are expected. By early Thursday, the mercury could dip to about 10 degrees below zero.

Landlords are required to keep temperatures at 68 degrees during the day and 66 degrees at night. Tenants can call in complaints to 311.

The city is opening warming centers throughout Chicago to provide shelter from the frigid weather.

Motorists could also experience difficulties with their vehicles due to the extreme cold.

Nicole Aylward was driving on Lake Shore Drive Tuesday when she went right over a big chunk of ice.

"It just hit my undercarriage, sounds like it hit the oil pan and immediately stopped and I had to pull over to the side of the road. It was a little scary," Aylward told ABC 7.

Working in the cold is challenging but manageable as long, as you are prepared.

"We dress for it. We're out in the elements every day of the year. Hot, cold, doesn't matter," said Matt Retzer, Stanley Access Technology.

Experts say it's a good idea to protect pets in this kind of weather.

"The salt that people are using can be very irritating to dogs' pads. So once you come in, wipe them off," said Dr. Robyn Barbiers, Anti-Cruelty Society.

With the frigid conditions expected through Thursday, veterinarians suggest shortening walks with a pet.

For many Chicagoans, this winter is beginning to test their patience.

"I hate the snow. I just hope everything just don't happen again," said Priscilla Owiredu.

The Illinois Tollway will have special patrols out looking for stranded motorists because of the brutal cold.

City services are trying to get back to normal in the wake of last week's blizzard, but it is not easy with the additional snow Monday, and now, the cold.

Garbage pickup resumed Monday in the city, but some drivers were moved to snow trucks when it started snowing again.

The city has dedicated 300 pieces of heavy equipment to clearing snow where it might impact garbage collection.

Parking meter enforcement resumed Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. in the neighborhoods. Drivers had to start feeding the meters in the central business district Monday.

The city's department of transportation is reminding businesses and home owners about the need to shovel their sidewalks. The department says its part of being 'a good and considerate neighbor.'

Those who don't clean up may receive a letter from the city.