Monday morning brought near-record breaking low temperatures to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, with temperatures falling to minus 13 degrees at one point. Temperatures began to slowly rise after the sun rose, but frigid temperatures still plague the city.
Chicago public schools remained open on Monday despite the freezing temperatures, but 270 other schools in the area closed, leaving children at home with parents. The closures prompted many parents to bundle up their children and set out for indoor fun at the city’s museums. The Lincoln Park Conservatory was filled with families seeking respite from the cold.
People have speculated as to why Chicago-area schools closed on Monday, but most believe it was a matter of making children wait for the bus. “I think the main reason was the transportation department didn’t want to pick up the kids from the bus stop,” said Verity Cusik, a parent.
Although temperatures climbed a little bit on Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service has continued to issue cold weather alerts in several states, Illinois included. After the intense storm that brought winter to the U.S. in full force last week, the nation is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of its citizens.
Nearly 40 million people visit Chicago every year, but the winter storm left many of those visitors stuck in airports and unable to leave over the weekend. Chicago’s heavy snowfall has forced airlines to cancel more than 1,300 flights out of O’Hare International Airport over the last two weeks.
For commuters, the only option was to deal with the frigid temperatures and drive carefully. Those commuters who travel by train may have experienced more significant delays, as nearly every Metra line was running late as a result of the weather.
In weather this cold, Metra is advising passengers to dress warmly and arrive early at the station. In addition, they’re urging people to sign up for email alerts on Metra’s website.