SPRINGFIELD – As much of the state braces for brutally cold weather over the next few days, Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation Tuesday to make a wide variety of state resources available to help communities affected by approaching winter storms and record low temperatures.
Below-zero temperatures are expected to move into Illinois this evening and last through Thursday. The National Weather Service said wind chills could reach 55 below zero in northern Illinois, 35 below in central Illinois and 25 below in parts of southern Illinois.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said frostbite could set in on exposed skin within 10 to 15 minutes in the expected cold.
“This storm poses a serious threat to the well-being of people around the state, and we will use every tool at our disposal to keep our residents safe,” Pritzker said. “This disaster proclamation ensures that the state of Illinois has the flexibility to effectively and efficiently respond to the needs of local governments during this extreme weather event.”
Earlier this week, Pritzker activated the State Emergency Operation Center to support local government as they begin to plan for these extreme weather conditions.
For information on how to deal with the extreme cold and to find a list of Illinois warming centers in each county, visit the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Illinois website, ready.illinois.gov.
JERRY NOWICKI can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org