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Illinois in ‘state disaster’ mode as life-threatening windchill arrives

What you need to know about the dangerous Arctic air

The Chicago Skyline in 2014 as steam rises from Lake Michigan due to a “polar vortex” event.
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The Arctic air in Chicago is dangerously cold, so much so that earlier on Tuesday Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued a statewide disaster proclamation, which is equivalent to a state of emergency.

The measure ensures local governments will have the necessary resources through the extreme weather that’s expected to break all-time low temperature records.

Chicago officials are doing everything to help residents stay warm and safe, but the brutally cold weather has caused schools to close, airlines to cancel hundreds of flights and trains to suspend service. Stay up to date of how the extreme weather is affecting the city.

“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,” said Governor JB Pritzker in a statement. “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.”

A state disaster declaration allows more agencies and resources to help communities that could need recovery from the extreme cold. The state has set up warming centers which can be found through Ready Illinois or by calling your county emergency management agency.

On Monday, the governor put an emergency preparedness plan in place to warn residents of the extreme weather and hazardous travel conditions.