The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

January 6, 2014

Below-zero tempuratures push into Midwest, Northeast

(Continued)

CHICAGO —

Chicago Public School officials reversed course late in the day Sunday, canceling classes for Monday ahead of the expected bitterly cold temperatures. The change in plans came amid criticism from the Chicago Teachers Union, though officials say they made the decision after they “evaluated the situation again.”

Chicago Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said closing is “in the best interest of our students.”

Southern states are bracing for possible record temperatures, too, with single-digit highs expected Tuesday in Georgia and Alabama.

Temperatures are expected to dip into the 30s in parts of Florida on Tuesday. But Florida Citrus Mutual spokesman Andrew Meadows said it must be at 28 degrees or lower four hours straight for fruit to freeze badly.

In western Kentucky, which could see 1 to 3 inches of snow, Smithland farmer David Nickell moved extra hay to the field and his animals out of the wind. He’d also stocked up on batteries and gas and loaded up the pantry and freezer. The 2009 ice storm that paralyzed the state and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people is fresh in his mind.

“We are hoping this isn’t going to be more than a few days of cold weather, but we did learn with the ice storm that you can wake up in the 19th century and you need to be able to not only survive, but be comfortable and continue with your basic day-to-day functions,” Nickell said.

In Mt. Prospect, Ill., Steve White spent part of Sunday raking his roof with a specially made pole to prevent icicles as he prepares for a trip to Costa Rica in the coming days. He also installed a thermostat that directly faces a window, so a neighbor can check to make sure his furnace is working.

“I’m just glad I’m here to take care of it,” he said.

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