Mayor Emanuel calls subzero forecast ‘public health risk’

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the double-digit subzero temperatures forecast for the city are life threatening and “not to be taken lightly.”

Emanuel spoke Tuesday morning at a warming center, telling Chicagoans that the frigid weather expected through Thursday is a “public health risk.” The National Weather Service says wind chills could dip to 46 below zero in Chicago.

City officials said they have added 500 shelter beds and have reached out to religious leaders, asking them to call and check on senior citizens. Five Chicago Transit Authority buses will be on the streets to give the homeless a place to warm up.

Chicago Public Schools officials have canceled Wednesday classes. Major Chicago attractions, like the Lincoln Park Zoo, Art Institute of Chicago and Field Museum, will be closed Wednesday.

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