CHICAGO (AP) — A second deep freeze in weeks locked the Midwest in its icy
grip Monday, prompting schools to close, airlines to cancel flights and
the mass mobilization of emergency crews to dig out major roadways.
where parents were forced to bringing their kids to work or call in sick
to stay home and care for them, to South Dakota, where officials were
warning about treacherous driving conditions, this latest round of subzero
highs in many parts of the Midwest had many people wondering when it would
"I'm moving to
Alaska where it's warmer," Kathy Berg said in jest — though it's in fact
true of current weather conditions — as she arrived by train for her job
in Chicago wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt, sweatshirt, polar fleece hoodie,
winter coat, knit cap, two scarves and two pair of gloves.
weather pattern that's driving Arctic air south was forecast to force
temperatures to plummet for about 2 1/2 days, starting overnight Sunday.
Actual temperatures will range from the teens in northern Kentucky to
double-digits below zero in Minnesota, but even colder wind chills were
expected — minus 43 in Minneapolis; minus 18 in Dayton, Ohio; minus 14 in
Kansas City, Mo.; and minus 3 in Louisville, Ky.
Monday, weather forecasters in Chicago were telling viewers that the high
temperature for the day had already come and gone and that the low may
reach minus 4 degrees with wind chills at 40 below.
It was the same
in Nebraska and Iowa, where the weather service issued warnings for both
subzero temperatures and wind chills that could reach minus 40 degrees — a
forecast that had Amy Henry, an employee at a 24-hour drug store in Omaha
thinking enough was enough.
"I just look at
my (apartment) pool every day and say, 'Oh, come on, summer,'" said Henry,
Donutville U.S.A. in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, a couple of guys said
they weren't going to let a little cold keep them from their morning
"We're here every
day — we never miss," said Angelo Barile, a 72-year-old retired owner of
an Italian bakery.
Traveling in many
places remained treacherous Monday. Officials in many states urged people
to stay off the roads, including in Indiana where 50 mph gusts were
recorded early in the day. And in Michigan, parts of which have
experienced their snowiest January on record, weather-related crashes
killed three people over the weekend and roads remained slick.
On Monday, snow
drifts kept Interstate 29 closed from Sioux Falls to the Canadian border
before reopening in the morning.
difficult in Chicago. Airlines had canceled more than 1,000 flights at the
city's two major airports during the last cold snap, and the city's
aviation department said by Monday morning more than 500 flights already
had been canceled this time.
At Union Station,
some early morning trains were cancelled, leaving frustrated travelers to
wait around until the afternoon before they could get trains out of the
homeless people looking to stay warm kept a watchful eye for security at
the station, knowing if they stayed in one place too long they would be
"You have to keep
moving around," said Von Khan, 67, who carried big shopping bags in each
hand and a backpack slung over his shoulder.
temperatures are expected to hold into Tuesday. If Chicago makes it to 60
straight hours below zero, it would be the longest stretch since 1983 —
when it was below zero for 98 hours — and the third longest in 80 years.
Schools called off Monday's classes for its nearly 400,000 students, as
did some suburban districts and schools in Michigan and elsewhere.
Kristelle Brister, the manager of a Chicago Starbucks, to bring her
9-year-old son into the store where other employees scrambled to keep up
"We had two
(employees) call in because they couldn't come to work because of the
school closings and another called in sick," she said. "It's hard."
Business is far
from usual this winter for Alex Alfidi, manager at Leo's Coney Island
restaurant in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham. His 24-hour restaurant
been getting some carryout patrons, but the casual walk-in customers have
"We slowed down
big time," said Alfidi, 39. He said he's logged some challenging winters
in his 15 years in Michigan.
"This is the
biggest one," he said.