Extremely cold weather impacts Midwest
On Wednesday, January 30th, brutal cold weather swept across the majority of the Midwest. The polar vortex caused temperatures to drop to -30 degrees Fahrenheit and even lower in other states.
The governors of Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin all declared the weather as an emergency. Temperatures have dropped even lower those in Antarctica, and many people have been impacted.
An estimated number of fifty million people will have been affected by the time the freezing temperatures pass, and this includes people in states ranging from the Dakotas to Pennsylvania. In these extreme conditions, it goes without saying that the outdoors has the potential to be very dangerous, so dangerous that frostbite could kick in within five minutes if any skin is exposed to the frosty air.
What many climatologists have been saying is the implications of such extreme weather are even more concerning; some suggesting that climate change could be the direct cause of the bitter cold, mostly because the Midwest has not endured such low temperatures in over thirty years. In addition to this troubling news, thousands of flights have been canceled, hundreds of schools have been closed and hundreds of thousands of other college have canceled classes.
The most tragic part of the below-freezing temperatures was that there were seventeen recorded deaths relating to the harsh weather conditions. Most of those who perished were over fifty years old and were not equipped to deal with the weather.
Hypothermia seemed to be the cause of most, but not all, of the deaths. One man was run over by a snowplow while shoveling. In Chicago alone, there has been a steady effort to keep incidents such as these from happening, and over eleven agencies have been cited as being involved in helping out those in need during these subzero times.
Along with the agencies involved, many residents living within the states affected have opened up their homes to those who are not able to take care of themselves, and many cities also opened warming stations in order to take care of the elderly and small children.
Perhaps one of the most interesting developments that came from the frigid weather was that a handful of stores selling jackets were robbed at gunpoint, more notably, stores selling Canada Goose jackets, which shows just how desperate people are to keep warm, and the measures they are willing to take in order to do so.
It is apparent that the weather across the Midwest has been absolutely horrific, and as the polar vortex begins to move its way on over to the east coast we can only hope that those affected by the extreme temperatures are able to recover in the coming days and weeks.
Tyler Cullen, a first-year, studies Theology. He is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.