Cold forces Thursday closing of public schools

  • A commuter arrives at Metra Western Avenue station, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Chicago. The extreme cold and record-breaking temperatures are crawling into a swath of states spanning from North Dakota to Missouri and into Ohio after a powerful snowstorm pounded the region earlier this week.

    A commuter arrives at Metra Western Avenue station, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Chicago. The extreme cold and record-breaking temperatures are crawling into a swath of states spanning from North Dakota to Missouri and into Ohio after a powerful snowstorm pounded the region earlier this week. Associated Press

  • A Metra train moves southbound to downtown Chicago as the gas-fired switch heater on the rails keeps the ice and snow off the switches near Metra Western Avenue station in Chicago, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. Forecasters warn that the freezing weather Tuesday will get worse and could be life-threatening.

    A Metra train moves southbound to downtown Chicago as the gas-fired switch heater on the rails keeps the ice and snow off the switches near Metra Western Avenue station in Chicago, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. Forecasters warn that the freezing weather Tuesday will get worse and could be life-threatening. Associated Press

  • A worker shovels snow off the rail switches at the Metra Western Avenue Yard, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Chicago. The extreme cold and record-breaking temperatures are crawling into a swath of states spanning from North Dakota to Missouri and into Ohio after a powerful snowstorm pounded the region earlier this week.

    A worker shovels snow off the rail switches at the Metra Western Avenue Yard, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Chicago. The extreme cold and record-breaking temperatures are crawling into a swath of states spanning from North Dakota to Missouri and into Ohio after a powerful snowstorm pounded the region earlier this week. Associated Press

  • Commuters wait for a train as snow falls Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, in Chicago. The plunging temperatures expected later this week that have forecasters especially concerned. Wind chills could dip to negative 55 degrees in northern Illinois, which the National Weather Service calls "possibly life threatening."

    Commuters wait for a train as snow falls Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, in Chicago. The plunging temperatures expected later this week that have forecasters especially concerned. Wind chills could dip to negative 55 degrees in northern Illinois, which the National Weather Service calls "possibly life threatening." Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/29/2019 9:01 PM

CHICAGO -- The frigid weather blanketing Illinois means Chicago Public School students will get to spend another day at home.

District officials announced Tuesday that in addition to Wednesday, schools also will be closed Thursday. Public school buildings will be closed and those who need alternatives should consider warming centers provided by the Chicago Park District.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Speaking from a warming center, Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the cold 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.

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