WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- As extreme cold weather hit the United States this week, 23 have so far been reported by authorities to have died from weather-related incidents.
- Among those is a FedEx worker, 69, who was found lying outside the delivery facility in East Moline.
- FedEx has issued statements assuring its service providers and members that the company has emergency plans to ensure their safety and have also closed some centers.
On Thursday morning, a 69-year-old FedEx worker was found dead outside a western Illinois delivery center. He is believed to be among the 23 people killed from the extreme weather conditions that hit the country this week.
According to police Capt. Darren Gault, the man, whose name wasn’t released, was found by a coworker on Thursday morning lying between two trailers outside the FedEx facility in East Moline. It remains unclear how long he has been there or why he was there, but temperatures in the Moline area have plummeted to below zero from late Tuesday afternoon to Thursday evening. Temperatures on Thursday morning were 33 below.
In a statement from FedEx on Friday, the company offered their condolences to the man’s family while assuring them that investigations have already begun.
They also added that FedEx has “contingency plans in place to ensure the well-being of our team members and service providers.”
They also said that due to the extreme cold, several of their centers including the Rock Island center were either closed or running limited operations this week.
Among the deaths in Iowa is University of Iowa freshman student Gerald Belz, whose 19th birthday was coming in February, was found unresponsive around 3 in the morning of Wednesday outside a building on the campus. At that time, the temperature was 21 below zero.
“He has touched so many people in such a positive way. Since his death, there are times when we reminisce and laugh, and there are times when we reminisce and cry,” Gerald’s father told CNN affiliate KWWL.
On Friday, three deaths — a 92-year-old man, and two women, 62 and 73 respectively, were reported in Cook County, Illinois and Chicago. Other weather-related deaths were also reported in Erie County, New York where one was found dead outside a bus stop and 2 men who were shoveling snow. Eight died from car wrecks in snowy conditions in Iowa, while other reports came from Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana and Wisconsin, authorities said.