Dangerous wind chill temperatures hit Chicago

January 21, 2013 8:37:25 PM PST
A frigid cold settled over the Chicago area Monday.

Chicagoans faced the coldest temperatures in almost two years.

"It's back to the real Chicago. It's now so cold when you breathe in your snot freezes. That's always a good sign of a good Chicago winter," commuter Jim Hulbert said.

Even a frozen tundra can't keep the truly devoted away from their daily run on the lakefront.

"It's really nice to get out in the sun. Everybody needs their vitamin D, right?" runner Emma Ashburn said.

However, for the thousands of homeless people in Chicago, the weather could prove deadly.

Pacific Garden Mission expects that more than 1000 people will seek refuge from the cold, many more than normal. Their goal is to turn away no one.

"Once we fill all the beds we take out the seats in our auditorium where we have services and we put mats on the floor," the mission's Pastor Percy Edmonds said.

But some refuse to seek shelter despite the dangerous weather.

"That's their life, that's all they know," homeless man Steve Howell said. "I know a woman who lives down on Lower Wacker, She almost has a little apartment down there and she will not go to a shelter. No matter who it is, that's her home."

Many people don't have a choice including the valet parkers at Black and White Valet. Business at Black and White is brisk with so many people opting for convenience rather than walking and parking.

"We always valet when it is cold outside," customer Chevell Crayton said.

"Hopefully today people will be generous and give these guys a few extra bucks," Black and White's owner James Weiss said.

Layering and breaks are the keys to surviving an outside job, the valets said.

The cold weather caught many off guard which is why the cash registers were busy in Macy's hat and glove department.

"I've been raised in Chicago my whole life and I still don't like it," area resident Rhona Bitterman said.