Deep freeze: Historic cold spell slams the state

Mother Nature kicked off 2014 with a bone-chilling arctic blast that left the area in a deep freeze. The coldest temperatures in nearly two decades created life-threatening conditions with wind chills reaching -40 to -50 below zero. The dangerous cold created havoc for area livestock farmers, buisnesses in the transportation industry, and many more who had to continue daily operations in the extreme weather conditions.

Nearly every school in the state of Iowa, including Lynnville-Sully and Sully Christian, cancelled classes on Monday, Jan. 6, due to the cold and dangerous wind chills that pushed temperatures to feel like 50 degrees below zero. School cancellations are common this time of year due to snow, ice, or blizzard conditions, but rarely due to cold temperatures. Superintendent Shane Ehresman said the decision to call off school was done early on Sunday evening for the safety of students and staff members.

“Late last week, area superintendents began discussing options for Monday. Using text messaging, communicating was ongoing from Thursday through Sunday. The National Weather Service Wind Chill Index provided a good guide,” said Ehresman.

Lynnville-Sully and Sully Christian Schools will make up the inclement weather day on Monday, Feb. 17.

Meteorologists forecasted that temperatures would only climb slightly on Tuesday, and a wind chill advisory was in effect for part of the state until 9 a.m. on Tuesday. Both Lynnville-Sully and Sully Christian Schools delayed the start of the school day on Tuesday, Jan. 7, by two hours. This historic cold spell is the coldest air the state of Iowa has experienced since February 1996. The five-day forecast looks more promising as temperatures are expected to rise to the 30-degree range by the weekend.

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