Historic cold grips Wisconsin, very few people venture outside

MADISON (WKOW) — Wednesday afternoon during the legislative session is typically a busy time in downtown Madison but as extremely cold temperatures settled over Wisconsin, the area looked nearly deserted.

Restaurants, businesses and schools closed and very few people ventured outside.

“You can still go out and do some things but definitely within reason, so stay inside and stay warm,” said UW-Madison student Giorigi Miller.

Miller said he decided to walk downtown because he has never experienced sub-zero temperatures before. Miller didn’t have much company.

“It’s pretty empty,” said Abraham Williams, who moved to Madison 15 years ago.

“Oh, super dead,” said Vance Miller a long-time resident of Monroe. “There were a few stops I wanted to get to today, but it’s really dead.”

Miller, who wasn’t wearing a hat or gloves, remembers the last time temperatures fell this low in the mid-90’s.

“It’s going to be mighty cold but I remember the last time it was this cold,” he said. “But, eh – I’m a Wisconsinite so I’m used to it.”

Public safety officials say don’t try to be tougher than the weather. Stay inside and protect yourself. After a few minutes chatting with Miller he admits the cold is too much to bear.

“When I stand in one place long enough my ears to start to get a little frosty.”

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