By KARLI FEINSTEIN
CNN released a story Wednesday morning stating that the weather in the Midwest is at a historic, record-breaking low. The polar vortex descended, causing the coldest air in a generation, and is set to last through the end of the week.
Temperatures as low as negative 40 degrees are expected to hit the Midwest, specifically the Chicago-Minneapolis region. Officials have warned that temperatures at this range are known to cause, hypothermia, frost bite, frozen pipes and frozen vehicle parts. The wind chill readings will fall far below zero in many places.
Four deaths have been linked to these below freezing temperatures. A young couple got into a car accident on a snowy road in northern Indiana, a Milwaukee man was found frozen in his garage, and a man was struck and killed by a snow plow in Chicago. These terrible incidents are encouraging the Midwest to get the homeless off the streets to try and prevent them from interacting with this weather. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Tuesday, “These are actually a public health risk and you need to treat it appropriately, they are life-threatening conditions and temperatures.”
The weather is so drastically cold that airlines have issued weather waivers for 18 airports in the Midwest including Chicago O’Hare and Midway International airports. Besides the waivers, around 2,000 flights have been canceled since Wednesday morning. 3,000 flights combined, were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday. Amtrak as well canceled all trains coming in and out of Chicago, according to CNN as of 9:30 Wednesday morning.
Most public schools from Midwest states like Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, canceled classes on Tuesday and some on Wednesday as well. Several universities within those states have also canceled classes for those days, if not the whole week. Josh Collins, spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Education states “Closing schools for an extended stretch isn’t an easy decision, even though most school districts build potential makeup days into their schedules.”
The cold has been so bad that typical outdoor activities have been shutting down. A ski hill in the Minneapolis area said it would close through Wednesday, so did an ice castle attraction. The cold weather has even affected beer deliveries. Shipments are being delayed in fear that the beer will freeze.
This polar vortex has done nothing but cause tragedy and havoc to the Midwest. Hopefully, temperatures will go back to normal after this week ends.