He’s One Of A Few Tragedy’s Related To The Polar Vortex
To all our people in the Midwest, we hold you in our spirit.
The weather out there is no joke.
According to People, 18-year-old University of Iowa student Gerald Belz was found unresponsive outside a campus building around 3 a.m. local time on Wednesday.
The temperatures were below zero…
Negative 51 degrees to be exact.
Belz, who was in his second semester at the university, was eventually taken to a hospital were he unfortunately died.
There is no evidence of any substance abuse. According to an interview with Belz’s family for KGAN, doctors confirmed that the college teen didn’t have any alcohol in his system at the time he was found. Though the investigation is ongoing, officials think Belz’s death was due to extreme weather conditions.
The wind chill at the time university officers found Belz was -51 degrees Fahrenheit, says the National Weather Service.
The Midwest, from the Dakotas to Western New York is experiencing some of the most frigid temperatures the region has witnessed in two decades, according to The Weather Channel. On Wednesday morning, the temperature was -23 degrees Fahrenheit in Chicago while temperatures reached -30 in Wisconsin. The polar vortex has even reached the east coast with temperatures reaching the single digits in New York early Thursday morning.
The offensively cold weather shouldn’t be taken lightly, considering eight weather-related deaths have already happened in the U.S. as of Thursday morning, according to The New York Times.
The National Weather Service in Des Moines, Iowa warned against breathing in the cold air and suggested keeping your mouth covered to protect your lungs. “Avoid taking deep breaths; minimize talking,” they said, according to USA Today. “This is the coldest air many of us will have ever experienced. It’s not a case of ‘Meh, it’s Iowa during winter and this cold happens.’ These are record-breaking cold air temperatures, with wind chill values not seen in the 21st century in Iowa.”
Be safe out there!