6 deaths linked to blast of arctic cold
CHICAGO — Police say at least two people in the Detroit area have died in the extremely cold weather, including a former member of the City Council in the town of Ecorse, Mich.
Ecorse detective Tim Sassak tells TV station WDIV that the man was discovered Wednesday. Sassak says the man wasn’t wearing a hat or gloves and wasn’t dressed for below-zero temperatures.
Sassak says police believe the man was disoriented. He was found across the street, near a neighbor’s house.
Ecorse is about 15 miles southwest of Detroit.
In Detroit, a 70-year-old man was found dead in front of a neighbor’s home Wednesday. No names were released.
The deaths bring to at least six the number of fatalities linked to the extremely cold temperatures in the Midwest.
The deadly arctic deep freeze enveloped the Midwest with record-breaking temperatures Wednesday, beating even the most frigid areas in the world.
The cold triggered widespread closures of schools and businesses, and the canceling of more than 1,600 flights from Chicago’s airports, and even prompted the U.S. Postal Service to suspend mail delivery to a wide swath of the region.
The bitter cold is the result of a split in the polar vortex that allowed temperatures to drop much farther south than normal.
In Chicago, temperatures were still dropping after plunging early Wednesday to minus 19 degrees, breaking the day’s previous record low set in 1966, though wind chills in northern Illinois made it feel as cold as negative 57 degrees.
The National Weather Service warned that a wind chill of minus 25 can freeze skin within 15 minutes.