Preckwinkle lays out Cook Co. preparedness plan as area braces for record cold

CHICAGO — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle alone with other county officials issued their preparedness plan Tuesday as the area braces for freezing temps.

Suburban courthouses will be open at 24-hour warming centers through Thursday. The courthouses that will be open will be in Skokie, Bridgeview Markham, Maywood and Rolling Meadows.

FULL LIST: Cook County Warming Centers

"We need to look out for ourselves, our families, our friends dan neighbors," Preckwinkle said at a press conference Tuesday.

Bill Barnes, Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said officials can not stress enough how dangerous the temperatures are going to be in the next 48 hours.

"Expect temps as low as negative 27 degree with wind chills in excess of negative 50," he said.

At least 19 people have died countywide this winter season.

Officials are reminding residents to dress appropriately for the cold. In the temperatures and wind chills expected Tuesday into Wednesday, skin can and will freeze if it is exposed to conditions. In just five minutes you are at risk for frostbite.

Keeping safe in the cold: What to wear and what to watch out for

School Closures

All Chicago Public Schools will be closed Wednesday due to the impending freezing temps. Several other schools across the Chicago area, and the following universities are planning to close:

  • Northwestern University: closed 8 p.m. Tuesday through 12 p.m. Thursday
  • DePaul University: closed 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Wednesday
  • University of Chicago: closed Wednesday
  • Loyola University: closed 5 p.m. Tuesday through 12 p.m. Thursday
  • Illinois State University, Normal:  closed 11 p.m. Tuesday through 9:30 a.m. Thursday
  • Northern Illinois University: closed from 10 p.m. Tuesday until 10 p.m. Wednesday. Satellite campuses in Naperville, Rockford, Hoffman Estates and Oregon, Ill., will be open and operating on normal schedules.

FULL LIST: Chicago area school closings

For the latest weather updates, visit wgntv.com/weather.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.