Brrr’s the word; Dangerous wind chills hit the area
By David Luessen
“Since I’ve been here, and I’ve been working in the post office for nine years,” Klatt said.
A snap of cold weather and dangerous wind chills delayed the city’s garbage pick-up schedule and kept some vehicles from starting on Monday as temperatures hit minus 20 with wind chills approaching minus 40.
Marlene Decker of Jamestown has been a North Dakota resident for about 70 years and said she could not remember a winter that felt as cold as this one has.
“Of course you get older and you can’t stand as much as you did when you were younger,” Decker said.
Monday’s garbage pick-up route was moved to today, Tuesday’s route to Wednesday and Wednesday’s routes will be picked up along with Thursday’s. Service will resume as normal on Friday. Jamestown City Engineer Reed Schwartzkopf said the change was due to “extremely low wind chills” in a news release.
Randy, a worker at Crossroads Repair in Jamestown who declined to give his full name, said the business had gone on 10 jump-start runs Monday before noon, which drivers could have avoided by winterizing their vehicles earlier.
“The ones that haven’t, they’re the ones we’re jumping or dragging in,” he said, adding that the fierce cold has been good for business.
Sheila Krapp, emergency room manager at Jamestown Regional Medical Center, said no patients have sought treatment for frostbite or hypothermia from the cold air, but icy sidewalks have been a threat to some since freezing rain fell on Friday prior to the temperature drop.
“We’ve had some slips on the ice, there’s been plenty of that,” Krapp said.
The icy roads will also keep the Stutsman County Bookmobile from making scheduled stops in Jamestown and Montpelier today.
Lindsey Novak, North Dakota State University Extension Service agent for Stutsman County, said even livestock can suffer from the cold, let alone the ranchers who care for them. Beef cattle will grow longer hair and change their metabolic rates in the fall in preparation for the winter, but the animals need to eat more, putting ranchers at risk for exposure as they feed their stock.
“For the people, there’s definitely a challenge in getting out to care for the animals,” Novak said. “Animals can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite and those that do will be more prone to other diseases down the road.”
Meteorologist Bill Abeling from the National Weather Service office in Bismarck said some reprieve from the cold weather is on its way. Wind chills today are expected to warm up to minus 15 to minus 10, but overnight the winds will subside.
“We’ll begin a warm up after Wednesday. We’re looking at a high on Wednesday only around zero, but Thursday, lower 20s; Friday, upper 20s; Saturday, upper 20s; Sunday, upper 20s,” Abeling said.
Precipitation often follows similar warm-ups, but aside from some light snow possible on Sunday, Abeling did not see any major weather events on the horizon.
“Hopefully we can just enjoy some quiet weather for a change,” he said.
Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org