• Last modified 976 days ago (Jan. 17, 2018)


Snow, cold, and wind, oh my!

County becomes deep-freeze with dangerous wind chill

Staff writer

For a third time in less than a month, a blast of cold, arctic air hit the county Monday morning, sending people scrambling to deal with canceled schools, broken water pipes, slick roadways, and more.

An underlying sheet of ice caused by Sunday’s melt, an overnight temperature plunge, and a rain/snow mix caused additional problems.

Snow drifted on streets and sidewalks, with people battling subzero wind chills to clear it away.

County schools were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but dire predictions of frigid temperatures, dangerous wind chills, and ice-covered roads caused classes and activities to be canceled Tuesday as well. Opening games of Centre’s Cougar Classic and Hillsboro’s Trojans Classic basketball tournaments were rescheduled to later in the week.

While the safety of students and school employees took priority, working parents were left struggling to deal with the unexpected closures.

“When school is closed due to weather I scramble,” said Hannah Bourbon, the parent of two small children who attend Peabody-Burns Elementary and Wee Warriors day-care. “It takes a community to raise children, and in the last five years I’ve been very thankful for my kids’ summer daycare, outside of Elbing, who I usually call first. But by far, my mom has been very helpful when my husband’s and my schedules conflict with last minute changes in schedule.”

Linsey Foth, another Peabody resident with a small child, has learned to depend on her daughter’s grandmothers and high school students who also are out of school.

“Now I know more high school kids, so we plan on asking them. They always love the extra cash,” she said.

Nolan Hurst, a Peabody resident who works for Graber’s Heating and Plumbing of Newton, says the unexpected costs of water lines freezing and breaking impose a huge financial burden on cold weather victims.

“A lot of times after we give people a quote they realize how much it’s going to cost and don’t have the money to fix the problem. They end up relying on family members or others,” he said. “When the weather got really cold last week, we were short staffed and turned down about 50 calls.”

Country road and bridge truck driver David Silhan said Monday he’d spent the morning blading snow off 190th Rd., but 14 mph winds caused additional drifting along the south side of east-west roads. As he refilled his gas tank at the county shop, Silhan said he’d be back out on the roads in the afternoon.

Despite miserable conditions, life and work went on.

Eric Moore, spotted sweeping snow off his Marion driveway Monday morning, said he just needed to get outside, no matter what the weather.

A Flaming’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning employee was observed braving bitter conditions as he dug a trench with a backhoe outside a fitness center on east Main St. in Marion. John Brewer said Flaming’s dealt with several nonfunctioning furnaces, as well.

Hillsboro and Marion schools started late today to allow temperatures to moderate. Centre opened as usual but preschool was canceled.

The temperature today was predicted to rise above freezing, kicking off a warming and melting trend expected to peak in the low 50s by the weekend.

Last modified Jan. 17, 2018