Offices Re-Open, Thaw Coming, Flood Worries Minimal

Vander Tuuk 2-1-19

(Waukegan, IL) Many government offices that were closed over the last couple of days will re-open as normal today. Lake County government offices thanked people for their patience as they waited out two days of extreme cold temperatures that shut them down, as well as busses, trains, schools and mail service. The National Weather Service says the worst of the cold is over for now, and that a thaw will take place over the next few days. Experts say there is a possibility that thaw could lead to some flooding on the Des Plaines and Fox River…but that possibility is currently very low.

At least 144 Illinois ER visits due to cold-related injuries

Associated Press 2-1-19

CHICAGO (AP) The Illinois Department of Public Health says at least 144 people made hospital emergency-room visits and one person has died due to cold-related injuries since Tuesday. Department spokesman Melaney Arnold said Thursday that there were at least 65 visits in Chicago and at least 75 outside Chicago, most with either hypothermia symptoms or frostbite. The department didn’t list the specific cause of the death or where it occurred. The injuries came as temperatures plummeted in Illinois to double-digit subzero readings Tuesday night through Thursday.

Pritzker names Public Health, Veterans’ Affairs directors

Associated Press 2-1-19

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Gov. J.B. Pritzker has tabbed a Cook County pediatrician and an Army combat veteran to lead the state’s public health and veterans’ affairs departments. The Democrat on Thursday named Dr. Ngozi Ezike (en-GOH’-zee ih-ZEE’-kee) as director of public health. She is an internist and pediatrician, and is currently medical director for the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center — the nation’s largest. Army Lt. Col. Jaime Martinez has been tagged to head up Illinois Veterans’ Affairs. Martinez is a 26-year veteran who served tours of duty as a paratrooper in Panama, the Gulf War, and Afghanistan and was a policy adviser to the Defense secretary. Both appointments require Illinois Senate confirmation.