Warming centers were opened for vulnerable residents such as seniors, buses employed as mobile warming spaces, and shelter capacities increased for the homeless, including the approximately 16,000 living on the streets of Chicago.
Numerous same Midwestern commuters who bundled up like polar explorers this week might soon get by with a light jacket.
On Wednesday, Chicago reached temperatures colder than Antarctica, with temperatures reaching 23 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, and wind chills pushing it to 55 degrees below zero.
After cold temperatures in Chicago set a new daily record and almost dropped to an all-time low on Thursday, the second day of a brutal cold snap, the city is expected to see a sizable snowfall starting Thursday night. For instance, Moline, Illinois, saw a temperature of minus-33 degrees Thursday and was forecast to hit 49 degrees by Monday.
A split in the polar vortex brought arctic temperatures and icy winds, making it hard for the residents to lead their regular day to day life.
Although the cause of Belz's death is still unknown what we do know is that Iowa wind chill temperatures dropped to a deadly -51°F around the same time he was found. Homie, that's 100 degrees away from 51°F.
The US National Weather Service (NWS) revealed today the chilling vortex is showing signs of dissipating in the Midwest.
The polar vortex brought temperatures lower than minus 50 degrees, and forecasters are predicting that some places will become up to 80 degrees higher than their lowest temperatures during the week.
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office responded to the home in Cudahy on Thursday, the same day temperatures plunged to record lows in several Midwestern cities.
In Michigan, efforts to conserve heat during the extreme cold reduced usage by 10 percent following a fire at a major natural gas facility, officials said. They were not exaggerating: Going gloveless for only a minute or two, in double-digit negative temperatures, left hands feeling numb, then clumsy and flipper-like, then white-hot with pain. The Midwest was expected to see miserable temperatures through Thursday, and the cold air was moving east.
How is the cold snap affecting daily life?
Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel warned in a briefing on the extreme cold that: "These conditions are actually a public health risk and you need to treat it appropriately". About 1,700 flights in and out of Chicago airports were canceled.
In Chicago, which experienced temperatures as low as -30C earlier this week, temperatures of -7C felt positively balmy as a measure of normalcy returned to the nation's third-largest city.
Metra Electric trains will not run Thursday, Metra said.
All Amtrak services on its short-distance trains and most long-distance service trains will also be canceled Thursday, Amtrak said.
Power issues drastically subsided by Thursday as well, with only 155 ComEd customers reporting no power about noon, according to the electric company's power outage map.