State

Governor makes disaster declaration after storm

Ice floats on the surface of Lake Michigan Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Chicago. Single-digit temperatures are hitting Illinois after the state was blanketed in snow. Meanwhile, residents are bracing for a deep freeze. Highs early next week likely won't reach zero and wind chills could sink to 45 below.
Ice floats on the surface of Lake Michigan Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Chicago. Single-digit temperatures are hitting Illinois after the state was blanketed in snow. Meanwhile, residents are bracing for a deep freeze. Highs early next week likely won't reach zero and wind chills could sink to 45 below.

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn is issuing a disaster declaration because of bitter winter weather and activating the Illinois National Guard.

The governor's office asked drivers on Monday to stay off the roads. He also instructed most state employees to stay home, except for those in "critical government functions."

He says the state is monitoring weather conditions and is working "nonstop to respond to this winter storm."

The weekend storm dumped up to 15 inches of snow in some parts of Illinois, snarling interstates and shutting down many roads all together. And the deep, drifting snow was followed by a bitter mass of artic air that plunged temperatures to record lows.

At Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, the temperature reached 16 degrees below zero before the wind chill.

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