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Medical examiner investigates 3 weather-related deaths in 4 days: ‘Shouldn’t have happened’

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office on Wednesday, Jan. 23 confirmed a shoveling-related death in Milwaukee -- the third weather-related death in four days.

The medical examiner said a 68-year-old man collapsed in his home shortly after shoveling snow on the south side of Milwaukee, passing away around noon.

This, in addition to two weather-related deaths that happened on Sunday, Jan. 20.

The medical examiner said a 59-year-old was shoveling at his home near 47th and Congress on Sunday, and was found dead inside. He was pronounced dead just after 1 p.m.

A 91-year-old man was using a snowblower outside his home near S. 108th Street and Cleveland Avenue in West Allis on Saturday, and was found dead inside his home on Sunday. He was pronounced dead shortly before 12:30 p.m.

Many on Wednesday, Jan. 23 were busy trying to get the snow that started falling on Tuesday cleaned up before the bitter cold arrived.

"It's so heavy! There's nowhere to put it and it keeps on getting stuck everywhere. It's freezing out here," said Gia Kostopoulos.

Dr. LuAnn Moraski

What can seem like a simple chore to some, can be a big risk for others.

"You're going to drive your heart rate up. You're going to drive your blood pressure up, and if you're not used to that, it's going to cause problems. It's a wakeup call for a lot of us. These are three people this shouldn't have happened to," said Dr. LuAnn Moraski, Your MD Mequon.

Dr. Moraski said it is important to take frequent breaks, slow down and use a smaller shovel, and when it's bitterly cold out...

"The less time you spend outside, the better," said Dr. Moraski.

With that in mind, officials with the Salvation Army of Milwaukee County announced on Wednesday, they will open their doors to serve as warming shelters during the extreme cold.

Steven Merritt

"You'll be able to come in and just get out of the elements and warm up," said Steven Merritt with the Salvation Army.

Greenfield

Cold Spring Church and Community Center, 2900 W. Coldspring Rd. Greenfield, WI 53221
Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Oak Creek

Oak Creek Centennial Church and Community Center, 8853 South Howell Ave. Oak Creek, WI 53154
Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Milwaukee

Citadel Corps Worship and Community Center, 4129 West Villard Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53209
Sunday 9 a.m. to noon
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

West Corps Worship and Community Center, 1645 North 25th Street Milwaukee, WI 53205
Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. to noon

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