If you are expecting a tax return by mail, you may have to pick up your check at a post office location in 11 states where the US Postal service has stopped delivering mail.
The US Postal Service has suspended mail deliveries in 11 states, including every city in Michigan and Ohio, citing safety concerns.
The USPS made the announcement late Tuesday. The suspension affects mail deliveries in the following states: Michigan, Ohio, and portions of Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.
The northern and midwestern states are all affected by an arctic blast of freezing cold air with the lowest temperatures since 1985.
For eight brief minutes in Chicago on Wednesday, residents enjoyed a warm spell of -10 degrees. Then temperatures dipped to -23 degrees with a wind chill factor that felt like -52 degrees at O’Hare Airport on Wednesday. The record is -27 degrees in Chicago on Jan. 20, 1985.
Humans exposed to freezing cold air for longer than 10 minutes are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia sickness – even if dressed appropriately.
Hypothermia (body temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit) occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it.
Signs and symptoms of hypothermia include:
- Shivering, chills
- Low breathing (less than 12 breaths per minute)
- Drowsiness (feeling sleepy)
- Mood changes
- Poor coordination
- Slurred speech
Signs of severe hypothermia (body temperature below 82 degrees Fahrenheit) include:
- Shivering stops
- Extreme confusion, delirious (removing clothing in cold weather)
- Altered mental status (talking gibberish)
- Weak and/or irregular pulse
- Slow and shallow breathing
- Coma that can result in death
Stay indoors where it is warm if you live in these 11 states: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.
If your power is out, some police departments and firehouses are emergency warming stations where you can get in out of the cold.
Other warming stations include City Civic Centers, Parks and Recreation centers, and Public Libraries.
Contact your City Hall or visit your city website for more information.