MEQUON -- It was was warmer Tuesday, December 20th after we saw significant snowfall in southeastern Wisconsin over the weekend, accompanied by a Winter Storm Warning, followed by bitterly cold temperatures, accompanied by a Wind Chill Advisory. Cleaning up all the snow hasn't been easy for some. The medical examiner on Monday identified three men who passed away during the month of December while shoveling snow.
We saw significant snowfall in southeastern Wisconsin for two straight weekends, and it's created huge snow piles on street corners and in medians.
Public works crews were busy Tuesday pushing the piles back so drivers can see around them.
Meanwhile, health officials are reminding those of us still working to clear all the snow to be careful.
"It's been a busy 10 days or so in a row -- and again (Tuesday) dealing with windy conditions causing drifting and we`ve had several cars go off the road and we are still out there and staying at it as long as we have to," Don Curran, director of Parks and Operations for the City of Mequon said.
Curran said crews were making sure the large snow piles wouldn't become hazards for drivers.
"Pretty much an effort to get snow pushed back to the side of the road. We do try to keep the intersections clear and the piles knocked down so visibility isn`t impacted," Curran said.
For those of us shoveling our own driveways and sidewalks, Dr. Tarek Amin with Aurora Health Care recommended safety with the shovel.
"Annually we have about 700 people pass away from hypothermia in the U.S. and over half of them are the elderly population --over 65 -- especially those who have diabetes, high blood pressure, COPD," Dr. Amin said.
There were three weather-related deaths during the weekend of December 16th through the 18th, when several inches of snow fell ahead of bitterly cold temperatures.
44-year-old Michael Kressin of Milwaukee passed away on December 17th near Oakland and Kane. The preliminary manner of death has been ruled natural in this case.
The medical examiner's report indicates Kressin was found unresponsive on the ground after going outside to shovel snow. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The report says Kressin was recently seen by doctors for some possible heart conditions.
74-year-old Arnold Handel of Milwaukee passed away on December 18th near 63rd and Bobolink. The preliminary manner of death has been ruled natural in this case.
The medical examiner's report indicates Hanel was found unresponsive outside his residence after shoveling snow. He was found on his back on a sidewalk, not breathing. He was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of atherosclerotic coronary vascular disease.
Hanel's wife indicated he went outside to shovel around 8:00 a.m. He was found down by a neighbor around 9:00 a.m.
The medical examiner is investigating the death of a 64-year-old woman that happened on the city's south side on Monday morning, December 19th.
The victim was found frozen on the back stairs leading to her apartment near 15th and Rogers -- and was pronounced dead around 9:30 a.m.
Officials say the cold weather most likely is a significant factor in the death.
Dr. Amin said it's important to be careful when clearing snow, and when you're outside when it's dangerously cold.
"Don`t spend too much time out in the cold -- especially when you are shoveling or doing something that's exerting yourself. We warn patients of signs and symptoms of frostbite which could be cold painful extremities, toes, fingers, nose, ears -- numbness. Sometimes you an see blistering on skin," Dr. Amin said.
Everyone is susceptible when it's dangerously cold. It's important to wear layers, and try to make your inner-most layer wool vs. cotton because wool retains heat better. You should also take time to step inside and warm up -- and take your time when shoveling snow.