UPDATE: Elderly woman found dead in Wis. cold

UPDATED Wednesday, January 8, 2014 --- 2:24 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Police in Barron are investigating the death of an elderly woman who apparently left her assisted living facility and died in the cold.

Police Chief Byron Miller said in a statement dispatchers received a call about 4:45 a.m. Wednesday from Monroe Manor, an assisted living facility, reporting 76-year-old Juanita Toewshad left the building. Emergency responders determined Toews had climbed out her living room window.

Searchers followed her tracks and found her lying on an iced-over creek about around 6:15 a.m. She was pronounced dead about 45 minutes later at a Barron hospital.

Police suspect Toews died of hypothermia. Miller said she wasn't wearing any cold weather clothing.

According The National Weather Service, the temperature was 24 degrees below zero in the Barron area at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Wednesday, January 8, 2014 --- 8:44 a.m.

TOWN OF WHEATLAND, Wis. (AP) -- The subzero temperatures in Wisconsin this week are quite a contrast to the record warmth that spawned a rare January tornado in Kenosha County six years ago.

Sharon Blume remembers her Town of Wheatland neighbors outside in T-shirts and sneakers in 65-degree weather. But, Blume says she'll take shoveling snow any day compared to the devastation that followed in 2008. Sixty homes were damaged. Blume's roof was destroyed.

Mary Ann Price tells WISN-TV she lost most windows, her roof and siding. But, Price considers herself fortunate compared to others who lost everything. Price says the house next door was destroyed. And even more than the damage, Price remembers the people who came to help put the community back together.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Tuesday, January 7, 2014 --- 4:20 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- State health officials are investigating whether three deaths last week were related to the swath of frigid temperatures.

Wisconsin Emergency Management says the deaths were in Ashland, Marquette and Milwaukee counties. All three people died Friday.

The Department of Health Services said Tuesday the deaths remain under investigation, but officials suspect the cold weather was a factor.

The string of cold temperatures is expected to continue a little longer. The National Weather Service has issued a statewide wind-chill advisory through Wednesday at noon.

Temperatures are expected to remain bitterly cold through Wednesday morning, with wind chills ranging from minus 25 to minus 25 across the state. The weather should start warming up in the afternoon, and by the weekend temperatures should be in the 30s.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Tuesday, January 7, 2014 --- 11:30 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Plumbers are thawing frozen pipes and utility crews have been working to restore power in the Dodge County area, as an arctic chill continues to shroud Wisconsin in subzero temperatures.

The National Weather Service issued a wind-chill warning through noon Tuesday, and schools districts in Milwaukee and Madison were among those that remained closed.

Brian Czerwonka of Carl's Plumbing Services in Milwaukee says his staff of six has been busy since Monday afternoon responding to calls for burst or frozen pipes. He says things were worse Tuesday because there'd been more than 24 hours of prolonged cold.

Business was also brisk for pizza-delivery drivers, as customers were less inclined to venture into the cold.

About 1,000 homes and businesses in Dodge County lost power Tuesday morning.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Tuesday, January 7, 2014 --- 9:14 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Dangerous arctic air continues to grip Wisconsin where schools remained closed for a second day this week.

A wind chill warning issued by the National Weather Service remains in effect until noon Tuesday with forecasters promising some relief from the dangerous cold Wednesday. Milwaukee and Madison school districts are among those that remained closed.

Temperatures dipped to 26 below zero at Phillips early Tuesday and 24 below at Hayward and Ladysmith. We Energies crews worked to restore power to more than 1,000 homes and businesses in Dodge County Tuesday morning. The outage occurred in the Town of Clyman near Watertown.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Monday, January 6, 2014 --- 2:43 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Wisconsin's two largest school districts have canceled classes for a second day this week.

Milwaukee and Madison school officials said Monday that students should stay home again on Tuesday because of the dangerous cold. Administrators in both districts expect classes to resume on Wednesday.

Dozens other schools around the state are also planning on closing Tuesday as Wisconsin continues to find itself in the grips of a cold wave resulting in wind chills of between 30 and 50 below zero.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Monday, January 6, 2014 --- 11:08 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The state's largest school district has canceled classes for a second day this week.

Milwaukee Public Schools officials say students should stay home again on Tuesday because of the dangerous cold. Administrators expect classes to resume on Wednesday.

In addition to classes, all after-school activities are canceled as well

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Monday, January 6, 2014 --- 10:31 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The deep freeze that's descended on much of the United States has not caused any serious emergencies yet in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Emergency Management spokesman Tod Pritchard said Monday that there have been scattered reports of water main breaks and frozen pipes in homes. He also says there was a minor power outage in Lafayette County, but power was quickly restored and no one had to be relocated.

Pritchard says of the cold, "So far, so good."

Pritchard says one of the major concerns is of people suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of using charcoal or gas heaters inside to warm their homes.

The Ready Wisconsin emergency preparedness website at ready.wi.gov also lists heating shelters around the state open to get people out of the dangerous cold.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Daily Scoop isn't expecting a lot of business in Madison where temperatures dipped to double digits below zero.

Scott Nyberg worked the Daily Scoop ice cream stand inside the University of Wisconsin student union Monday morning. Nyberg says "maybe somebody will want to prove they're macho and eat a cone outside."

Meanwhile, Stan Conrow, working on the UW union expansion and renovation project, says he and fellow workers are trying to stay indoors expect to unload trucks. The 49-year-old Beloit plumber says his advice for others who have to work outdoors? Cover every piece of skin and wear lots of layers.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Monday, January 6, 2014 --- 8:22 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Hundreds of school districts, government offices and businesses are closed due to the dangerous arctic air that's pushed temperatures down to 29 below zero in Wisconsin.

As forecast, the coldest temperatures in nearly two decades arrived Sunday. Schools, businesses and local governments made plans ahead of time to keep people at home and out of the cold.

Stephen Anderson, of Madison, planned to work from home Monday. As one of the owners of the software development company Bendyworks, Anderson told his employees to work from home Monday if it was more convenient. Anderson tells the State Journal Bendyworks will be a virtual company, at least on Monday.

In La Crosse, the Salvation Army and First Baptist Church expanded accommodations to shelter those in need. The La Crosse Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster worked to provide cots, blankets, food and shelter from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday and Tuesday.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Posted Sunday, January 5, 2014 --- 9:06 a.m.

CHICAGO (AP) -- Temperatures not seen in years are likely to set records in the coming days across the Midwest, Northeast and South.

A "polar vortex" air mass will affect nearly half of the continental U.S. starting Sunday and into Monday and Tuesday, with wind chill warnings stretching from Montana to Alabama.

The bitterly cold temperatures already pushed into northern states Sunday morning. The National Weather Service reported a temperature of 9 below zero in Bismarck, N.D., and negative 21 at Duluth, Minn.

Snow preceded the polar air from Michigan to Kentucky. Forecasts called for up to a foot in eastern Missouri and parts of central Illinois.

Frostbite and hypothermia can set in quickly at 15 to 30 below zero. Medical experts say people should wear hats, face protection and layers of clothing.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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