City officials also want to remind residents to have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
During extreme cold weather, we understand that people want to help our homeless population. However, we ask that under no circumstance should you donate propane tanks which are potential fire hazards. Propane tanks can cause potential fires and explosions.— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) January 30, 2019
School ClosuresAll Chicago Public Schools will be closed Wednesday and Thursday due to the impending freezing temps. Several other schools across the Chicago area, and the following universities, are also 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.
Flight delays and cancelationsMore than 1,600 flights have been canceled at Chicago’s airports. About 1,300 of Wednesday’s canceled flights were at O’Hare International Airport, one of the nation’s busiest airports. The temperature at the airport early Wednesday was negative 23 degrees (negative 30.5 Celsius), but wind chills in northern Illinois made it feel as cold as negative 57 degrees (negative 49.4 Celsius). United Airlines spokesman Charlie Hobart says “everything tends to slow down” during severely cold weather, including manpower, fueling and equipment. Hobart calls the temperatures “dangerous.” He says United is bringing in extra workers to help and has provided heated tents for employees. Get the latest flight info at flightview.com
Amtrak, Metra Electric and South Shore Line train service canceled WednesdayAmtrak has canceled all trains to and from Chicago on Wednesday. Amtrak said that includes short-distance corridor trains and long-distance overnight trains. Short-distance trains are also canceled Thursday, and most long-distance services to or from Chicago are also not expected on Jan. 31. The only exception is trains that originated on or before Tuesday, Jan. 29 — they’ll complete their trips to or from Chicago. Amtrak said it regrets the inconvenience, and will work to accommodate passengers with reservations. For more information visit Amtrak.com. The South Shore Line, which runs into northern Indiana, suspended its commuter rail trips for Wednesday and said it expected to offer limited service on Thursday. Early Wednesday, a test train encountered significant overnight wire problems. For more information visit mysouthshoreline.com
Metra Electric train service has also been suspended until further notice. Metra suggest customers seek alternate transportation at this time.
The Shore Shore Line service is suspended for Wednesday January 30, 2019.— South Shore Line (@southshoreline) January 30, 2019
Earlier this morning a test train encountered significant overnight wire problems.
Metra Alert ME – Metra Electric train service has been suspended until further notice, wires problems caused by harsh sub freezing temperatures, customers should seek alternate transportation— Metra Electric (@metraMED) January 30, 2019
Power outagesAs of 7 a.m. Wednesday, nearly 7000 ComEd customers are without power in the south and southwest suburbs. Also, a report of significant power outages in Jasper and Newton counties (NW Indiana).
⚠️7:50AM: Check on your elderly & disabled neighbors this AM. Nearly 7000 ComEd customers are without power in the S & SW suburbs.— Mike Hamernik (@MikeHamernik) January 30, 2019
Also, a report of significant power outages in Jasper & Newton counties (NW Indiana). #INwx #ILwx #PolarVortex2019 pic.twitter.com/0SZT0jOdXg