CHAMPAIGN, Illinois. — A video posted by firefighters in Illinois show the many, many layers it takes to stay warm in the polar vortex conditions gripping the Midwest.
“I’ve got enough layers for that,” quips a tweet showing the nearly minute-long video of a Champaign Fire Department official suiting up.
Officials have warned of almost instant frostbite as temperatures in the region plunged below zero. Some state offices are closed and postal workers didn’t deliver mail in 10 states Wednesday. Thousands of flights have been canceled along with dozens of train services — most of them in and out of Chicago.
About 212 million people — or 72% of the continental US population — will see temperatures drop below freezing over the next few days. And more than 83 million Americans — about 25% of the US population — will suffer subzero temperatures at some point between Wednesday and Monday.
With at least five deaths linked to the extreme conditions this week, authorities are urging people to bundle up, stay inside and check up on the elderly and vulnerable in what experts are describing as “the coldest air in a generation.”