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‘Dangerous’ cold closes Creston Schools today

Published: Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 12:38 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 11:27 a.m. CDT

Every school in the Creston News Advertiser coverage area cancelled classes today because of dangerously cold temperatures.

Temperatures, with wind chill, plunged into the -30s Sunday evening and registered at almost -40 degrees for commuters this morning.

A wind chill warning blankets the entire state of Iowa until noon Tuesday with forecasters calling the cold weather conditions “dangerous” and “extremely life-threatening.”

Steve McDermott, superintendent of Creston School District, wasted little time making the decision to cancel classes for today. The decision came around 11 a.m. Sunday.

“This polar vortex — as they are calling it — was so broad and widespread that there was no way it was going to miss us,” McDermott said. “So, we made the decision to close school early Sunday so students and their parents could start making arrangements.”

The high temperature for today in Creston is predicted at -4 degrees with wind chills predicted between -30 and -55 degrees. National Weather Service forecasters have reported these wind chills being the coldest in nearly 20 years across much of Iowa.

“There will be safer days to have school,” McDermott said. “We didn’t want our students on buses, walking or waiting at bus stops in these really cold temperatures.”

Other schools closing in the Creston News Advertiser coverage area include: Clarke, Diagonal, East Union, Mount Ayr, Murray, Lenox, Nodaway Valley, Orient-Macksburg, Prescott and Southwest Valley.

Some schools have delayed school two-hours for Tuesday. Those include: Creston, Lenox and Orient-Macksburg.

All Crestonians are reminded to cover all exposed skin as NWS warns frost bite can develop in minutes and hypothermia or death are possible if precautions are not taken.

However, there is good news in the extended forecast according to State Climatologist Harry Hillaker. Temperatures are expected to rebound starting Tuesday and the high temperature for Friday is predicted to be in the mid-30s.

“The weather service puts out an eight to 14-day outlook and it favors above average temperatures,” Hillaker said. “There is some hope on the horizon as the cold shifts westward.”

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