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Milwaukee braces for dangerous, bone-chilling cold

Posted: 1:58 PM, Jan 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-29 18:40:19-05
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, wearing a blue and red sweater, discusses cold-weather preparation Tuesday

MILWAUKEE — City of Milwaukee officials issued an urgent plea to neighbors Tuesday to minimize time outside in the cold.

“The weather forecast for Wednesday and Thursday is very, very serious,” Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Barrett said it’s important people who have to be outside wear layers and not leave skin exposed, as dangerous health conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia can become a problem in minutes.

The city is urging people in need to call 2-1-1 to be connected with shelters and warming rooms in our area.

City officials said more than 300 beds are available, and they pledged to make sure everyone has a place to escape the elements during the frigid nights.

“We’re monitoring the availability regularly through our partnership organizations, and there are available beds,” Barrett said. “So please call 2-1-1. This is not the night for anyone to stay outside.”

Barrett also said the city will postpone services it deems nonessential that require time outdoors.

"This is not the night for anyone to stay outside.” — Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

“We’ll use Department of Neighborhood Services, the Department of Public Works, the Health Department as examples," the mayor said. “There are certain activities employees of those departments would take that I’m assuming will all be canceled because they’re not essential.”

Barrett said essential services such as police, fire and emergency water repairs would continue.