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Deep freeze in Midwest puts normal routines on ice

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Pedestrians making their way along State Street are well-bundled against the region’s return to bitterly cold conditions, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, John Hart)

Pedestrians making their way along State Street are well-bundled against the region’s return to bitterly cold conditions, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, John Hart)

A pedestrian drags a shovel across Indiana 933 along Colfax Avenue on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in downtown South Bend. Sub-freezing temperatures and blowing snow returned to the Michiana area yet again as the City of South Bend declared a winter weather emergency. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, James Brosher)

Drivers gingerly work their way south on Indiana 933 past the Chase Tower on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in downtown South Bend. Sub-freezing temperatures and blowing snow returned to the Michiana area yet again as the City of South Bend declared a winter weather emergency. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, James Brosher)

A woman walks briskly across the Michigan Avenue Bridge in Chicago, Monday morning Jan. 27, 2014, as temperatures were near zero at the start of the day and expected to fall throughout the day. Below-zero high temperatures expecting to last 2 1/2 days have returned to many parts of the Midwest bringing with it wind chills ranging from the negative teens to temperatures colder than 40 below zero. The rail agency is warning commuters to leave extra time for the morning commute because of the cold weather. (AP Photo/Sun-Times Media, Michael R. Schmidt) MANDATORY CREDIT, MAGS OUT, NO SALES

Roger Homrich has snow accumulate on his hat and jacket as he clears snow from a Bridge St. sidewalk in Grand Rapids, Mich., Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. Grand Rapids is experiencing single digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chills. (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Chris Clark) ALL LOCAL TV OUT; LOCAL TV INTERNET OUT

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CHICAGO (AP) — Parents brought kids to work or just stayed home because schools were closed, again. Office workers hailed cabs to ride a block — or less. And companies offering delivery services were inundated with business as Artic air blasted the central U.S. on Monday for the second time in weeks, disrupting the lives of even the hardiest Midwesterners.

As temperatures and wind chills plummeted throughout the day Monday, even simple routines were upended by the need to bundle up, with anyone venturing outdoors being well advised to layer up with clothing, coats, hats, scarves and gloves.

And there’s no quick relief in sight as subzero highs were expected to dominate across the region into Tuesday.

“This is similar to what we had three weeks ago” in terms of life-threatening conditions, said Sarah Marquardt, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “With wind chills in the minus 30 to minus 40 range, you can get frostbite within 10 minutes on exposed skin.”

In Chicago, temperatures had fallen below zero by Monday afternoon with wind chills in the negative double-digits.

“We had two (employees) call in because they couldn’t come to work because of the school closings, and another called in sick,” said Kristelle Brister, the manager of a Chicago Starbucks, who was forced to bring her 9-year-old son to work after the city shut down its 400,000-student school system for the day.

Residents of Minnesota and Wisconsin faced similar if even somewhat more severe weather.

Wind chills in the minus 40s were expected in Minneapolis, while in Milwaukee the chill hit minus 23 by mid-afternoon. Elsewhere, wind chills of minus 18 were expected in Dayton, Ohio, minus 14 in Kansas City, Mo., and minus 3 in Louisville, Ky.

The chill Monday was enough to keep even the hardiest people off the streets, including the customers of the Hollywood Tan salon in the southwestern Illinois’ community of Belleville.

“It’s definitely a lot slower,” said salon manager Kelly Benton, who wasn’t expecting anything near the 100 tanners the salon sees on a typical day.

But the chill didn’t keep crowds from Tiny Tots and Little Tykes Preschool and Child Care Center in West St. Paul, Minn., where the cold weather means a lot more jumping rope and riding around on scooters — anything to escape cabin fever and let kids burn off some energy.

“We’re just trying to keep them busy, but it’s definitely more of a challenge when you can’t get outside,” said ManaRae Schaan, the executive director.

The brutally cold weather has brought a spike in business for GrubHub Seamless, a company that lets users order food online from restaurants and have the food delivered.

“Across the board, restaurant and delivery drivers are dealing with an influx of orders,” Allie Mack, a spokeswoman for the company said in an email.

Not only that, but people seem to appreciate the drivers more, with Mack saying that during the Polar Vortex earlier this month, tipping was up by double digits in Detroit, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Chicago. And, for some reason, deliveries of buffalo chicken sandwiches jumped 37 percent.

“You figure people are probably being more generous to their drivers because their drivers are the ones braving the conditions while you’re on your couch in your pajamas,” Mack said.

Chicago cabdriver Kumar Patel said the cold translates into bigger tips for him too.

But the chill also seems to trigger some bad behavior as well, he said.

“They get in and they say they have to smoke because it’s so cold,” Patel said.

Still, he said, he can pick up a lot of fares in a short time. “They are going a block, sometimes only a half block,” Patel said.

The frigid weather also sent runners inside to health clubs or into stores to buy treadmills.

“Treadmills and ellipticals are the No. 1 seller now that conditions are terrible,” said Dave O’Malley, manager of Chicago Home Fitness.

In Milwaukee, Michael Comerford, a 33-year-old barista, said Monday that he is making far fewer lattes than normal but expects the trend to reverse once the severe chill subsides.

“Once it gets warmer,

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