Pinoys dig in as harsh winter hits Illinois

Connie Macatula-DeLeon, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jan 04 2018 10:09 AM | Updated as of Jan 04 2018 10:10 AM

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AURORA, Illinois – The year 2018 welcomed Illinois with more snow, icy roads, sub-zero wind chills, and record-breaking temperatures.

According to the National Weather Service, Chicago hit its lowest-recorded temperature on a New Year’s Day, set at 1 degree. The previous record took place in 1969 at five degrees.

Forty-eight-year-old Arthur Abecilla has witnessed 12 winters in this region and said each year only gets worse, especially after his car accident.

“Umikot sa may snow. ‘Pag nag-preno ako, umikot yun (sasakyan). Nag-preno ka na, diretso ang sasakyan; hindi mag-stop,” said Abecilla.

Asian-store owners Joemarie and Shiajahni Juarez say their store thrives in winter when customers would rather buy cooked food than cooking themselves.

“Ang mga Filipino naman, they will really come out to grab food,” said Shaiajahni. 

But Joemarie added that owning a food business comes with huge responsibility, especially in the winter.

“We make sure, yung ice, we throw salt out there. Yung mga danger zone sa kusina, proper attire, safety first, sa likod. We handle food, food sanitation is kinda tricky. Extra careful kami,” he said.

For 21-year-old Jasper Juarez, winter is something he is used to. He said staying indoors for a couple of months is always a good opportunity.

“I really don’t mind not being able to go out there. I get to spend more time with my family so that’s what brings me happiness,” he said.

The highly dangerous cold is going to stay below zero to single digit throughout the week and is not expected to go up to the 30s until Sunday.

Officials continue to warn everyone to stay indoors, and to take hypothermia and frostbites seriously. 

The state is aware of the extreme temperatures that cause bursting pipes, broken heaters, and structural problems around homes that is why there are at least 30 warming shelters in Chicago alone that are open to anyone who is in need of a place to stay.

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