Suburbs remain in grip of dangerously cold weather

Dangerously cold weather is expected to maintain its hold on the suburbs until midweek.

The National Weather Service forecasts that temperatures will remain mired in single digits until Wednesday. Temperatures on Monday are expected to peak at 2 degrees, with wind gusts up to 20 mph making it feel as low as -30. More of the same is in the forecast for Tuesday.

By Wednesday, however, temperatures could rebound to a high near 15 and then climb to 20 by Thursday.

Besides the frigid temperatures, those who ventured out Sunday also contended with blowing and drifting snow. The Kane County Sheriff’s Office reported that its deputies responded to several vehicles stuck in the snow throughout the morning.

“If you absolutely must be out and get stuck, be prepared with a full tank of gas, a charged cell phone and warm clothing,” the sheriff’s office said on its Facebook page.

The DuPage County Sheriff’s office also urged residents to look after their pets.

“As temperatures plummet, lets ensure the safety of our furry friends, we urge you to protect your pets from freezing temperatures, refrain from leaving pets outside in the extreme cold,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook.

Among those who braved the cold Sunday was Phil Smith of West Chicago, who went out to photograph eagles along the Fox River in Elgin. He said he’s been out photographing wildlife every day for six years, regardless of the weather.

  Ice hangs from Phil Smith’s eyelashes Sunday as he photographs birds along the Fox River in Elgin. The ambient temperature was around -7 degrees at midday when he was shooting. Rick West/

"I sell a few prints, but mostly I just do it because I love it," he said.

He and his wife Jessica, who came along on the trek, are headed to the Bahamas for vacation next weekend.

"I told her, ‘Minus 10 today, 79 next Saturday,’“ he said.

  A man is bundled up while crossing the Chicago Street bridge in Elgin as frigid temperatures hit the suburbs Sunday. Rick West/

The cold spell follows on the heels of winter storms that dumped more than a foot of snow in some suburbs, leading to the closing of schools, libraries and government offices, activating an army of snowplows and salt trucks, and sending ComEd crews scrambling to respond to power outages.

Some tips for contending with the cold include:

* Never use your oven or a charcoal or gas grill for heat

* Make sure portable heaters are unplugged when not in use and do not place them near curtains or other flammable materials

* Leave faucets open with a slight drip to prevent pipes from freezing

* Limit time spent outside and wear layers of warm clothing if you need to go out

* Signs of frostbite include numbness and white or grayish-yellow skin. If these signs appear, go to a warm room and soak the affected area in warm water.

Several county and local governments have opened warming centers. For those in Cook County, visit In DuPage, visit In Kane, visit In Lake, visit And in McHenry, visit

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