Milwaukee River freezing over as city braces for first cold snap

Posted at 5:43 PM, Dec 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 18:45:07-05
As our temperatures drop in the first bitter cold snap of winter, the Milwaukee River is starting to freeze over in parts. 
It's just another sign that winter has arrived in Wisconsin, as people bundle up and start throwing on the layers. 
"I wear two layers of jackets, a scarf, gloves which I'll probably need thicker ones," said Lorna Gray who was walking her neighbor's dog through Lake Park on Thursday. 
In the Third Ward, people were running to their cars amidst gusty winds that dropped the wind chills down into the single digits. 
"A little cool but it's going to get worse next week," said Warner Holentunder. "I'd rather have two weeks ago when it was 50 degrees." 
If you need a break from the chilly air, Red Elephant in the Third Ward will serve up its signature hot chocolate. 
"It's made from 100 percent ground dark chocolate," said Richard Koenings, the president and founder of Red Elephant. "This is wonderful when it comes to the hot drinks."
And while we all break out the hats and gloves, St. Ben's downtown is running out of cold weather gear as people in need come to their door looking for warmth. 
"We have a lot of call for hats gloves and coats for our people who are living on the streets," said Br. Rob Roemer with the Capuchin Community Services. "This afternoon we've had a lot of calls just for hats and gloves."
He says they are most in need of men's gloves and accept donations every day except Saturday at their location on the corner of State and 9th streets. 
And while it's not quite cold enough for warming centers to open, Roemer says they also provide a warm meal for those who need it most.
"It's amazing how many people are sleeping outside in this cold weather," he said. "It blows my mind that there's people out there in this bitter cold."