School districts cancel classes as dangerously cold wind chills approach Kansas City

Some Kansas City area children will have school canceled again Wednesday because of a weather forecast calling for dangerously cold wind chills.

The Hickman Mills school district was among the first to announce school would be canceled Wednesday because of the extremely low temperatures and cold wind chills expected. Sedalia schools also canceled classes. Click to see a full list of closings.

By late Tuesday afternoon, other Missouri school districts including Platte County, Blue Springs, Independence, Liberty, Park Hill, North Kansas City, Lee’s Summit and Kansas City also announced that they would be closed Wednesday.

Major districts on the Kansas side including Shawnee Mission, Blue Valley and Olathe also made the decision to close Wednesday.

The U.S. Postal Service also announced that it was suspending mail delivery on Wednesday in Kansas, Missouri and several other Midwest states.

The cancellations come as an arctic blast dives into the area, threatening to bring record-setting cold along with bitterly cold wind chills Tuesday night through Thursday morning.

The Kansas City area will be under a wind chill advisory from 6 p.m. Tuesday until noon Wednesday, when wind chills as low as -20 degrees are expected.

Wind chills this cold can cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, it will be much colder north of Kansas City where wind chills of -35 degrees are expected. A wind chill warning has been issued for portions of northwest and north-central Missouri.

When wind chills dip this low, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in 10 minutes.

Medical staff at the Burnett Burn Center at The University of Kansas Health System said they expect frostbite injuries to occur mostly on the hands and feet.

Tips they suggested to avoid frostbite include:

Don’t be outside when its below 20 degrees if you can avoid it.

Dress in as many layers as possible.

Wear protective clothing such as gloves, hats, socks and shoes or boots meant for the cold weather.

Avoid getting hands and feet wet.

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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.