KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wednesday's forecast might work well for Berlin, the polar bear at the Kansas City Zoo, but maybe not as well for everyone else.
Several schools and churches announced Tuesday they’d be closed Wednesday due to the temperatures - Wednesday’s high is forecast to struggle to briefly touch 7 degrees.
While the cold isn’t nearly as bad as places in Minnesota and Wisconsin, it’s still cold enough that it literally hurts to go outside.
“Our skin is loaded with pain fibers and just like heat, our skin is sensitive to cold as well. Cold can cause frostbite (a type of burn) which is painful,” University of Kansas Health System doctor James Howard said. “The colder it is outside, the faster frostbite occurs so when it’s cold outside, it hurts.”
Several organizations are offering public buildings as warming centers:
- The Salvation Army has opened all of its Community Centers as warming centers during regular business hours. A list of locations is available on the Salvation Army website.
- All Johnson County, Kansas public libraries are also warming centers. A list of locations is available on the county’s website.
- Belton, Missouri will open two warming centers from 6 p.m. Tuesday through noon Friday at Fire Station No. 1, 223 Main St., and the Belton Police Station, 7001 E. 163rd St.
- KCATA plans to offer a warming bus at its 10th and Main Transit Center downtown.
In parts of Wisconsin, where the polar plunge has taken temps down past -25, some beer distributors have cut back on rural deliveries out of fear the beer could freeze.
Closer to home, Boulevard Brewing says their trucks are insulated - normally to help keep the beer cold - and the frigid temps shouldn’t pose a problem to deliveries or to beer stored in the giant outdoor fermentation tanks.
Ambassador Brewer Jeremy Danner says even with the cold temps, they still have to work to keep the fermentation temperatures from getting too high.
Other deliveries - including flowers from area Hy-Vee stores - are able to be made at the local store manager’s discretion.