Cold-Related Deaths

According to Carlos Sadovi from the Chicago Tribune, the death of a man Tuesday and of a man in January have been due to cold-related causes, officials said.

Sadovi stated that there have been 20 cold-related deaths in Cook County thus far this season; the Cook County medical examiner’s office pronounced Wednesday.

Sadovi stated Frank Shuftan, a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office, stated a homeless man between the ages of 41-50 years old was “found on the sidewalk on the 3100 block of South Laramie Avenue in Cicero” on Tuesday.

The man, who remained unidentified, was pronounced dead at at MacNeal Hospital that night.  An autopsy determined that the man “died of acute alcohol toxicity and that a secondary cause was cold exposure.”

Sadovi stated the death of the man in January has “also been attributed to cold exposure,” according to Shuftan.

The cause of death was “hypothermia due to cold exposure, and a secondary cause was chronic ethanolism, Shuftan said.”

Sadovi stated Debra Togtman from Blue Island was pronounced dead from the cold Sunday at MetroSouth Medical Center.  She was found in the “2200 block of 135th Place in Blue Island,” according to the medical examiner’s office.

According to Sadovi, after an autopsy Monday, the office determined Togtman died of hypertensive cardiovascular disease.  A secondary cause of death was “hypothermia due to cold exposure, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease a contributing factor in her death.”

Sadovi stated last winter in which Chicago had record-breaking low temperatures, “32 cold-related deaths were counted in Cook County from Oct. 24, 2013, through April 3, 2014; according to officials.”

40 Vehicle Pile-up

According to the Associated Press from the Chicago Tribune, Illinois State Police reported 40 vehicles were involved in a chain reaction crash on a major Chicago expressway.

They stated a series of cars slammed into each other after the initial one occurred after 10 a.m Sunday near the Ohio exit on the Kennedy Expressway.

Police say a dozen people were taken to local hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening and “59 others refused medical treatment.”

According to weather officials, the light snow could have caused low visibility and the icy roads could have caused slippery conditions.

Record Cold Temperatures

According to Tom Skilling from the Chicago Tribune, northwest winds will bring bitterly cold air into Chicago Wednesday.  There will be an Artic high-pressure system that will bring cold air into the Midwest and western Great Lakes.  Chicago’s early morning single-digit temperatures will be highs for the day.  Skilling also states that winds will gust to 25 mph; making a wind chill temperature in the “minus-10 to minus-16 range.”

Tom Skilling also stated light snow showers are likely in the proximate Chicago area.  Winter storm-like conditions are expected in the northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan; where 4 to 8 inches of snow could accumulate.

According to Lexy Gross from the Chicago Tribune, low temperatures will also hit Thursday morning; with wind chills going as low as minus-30 degrees.  The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures could possibly “tie the 1936 record for February 19th of minus 7 degrees.”

Gross said Illinois state climatologist Jim Angel said February’s low temperatures could be due to all the snow still on the ground.  While the cold might ease on Friday, the weather service is “predicting possible flurries or light snow. “