Eastern Iowans face blast of cold air - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowans face blast of cold air

LINN COUNTY (KWWL) - With an arctic blast bringing temperatures not seen in years -- wind chills nearing 50 below -- officials across the state are canceling school and activities, plus closing some businesses to keep people out of this dangerous cold.

The Linn County's Sheriff's Office reported numerous stalled cars during the morning rush. Terry Jenkins had other car troubles.

"My belt broke and I'm trying to get it back on and it's just too cold," said Jenkins, who lives in Hiawatha.

Jenkins only spent 10 minutes working on his car, knowing any more time than that could mean frostbite.

As for David Marsh, he spent Monday running errands, like paying his electric bill.

"You gotta go out in it and do what you need to do," said Marsh, who lives in Cedar Rapids.

His next stop was the grocery store -- and he wasn't alone.

Parking lots were packed with people picking up groceries or just lunch. Some didn't want to go outdoors and instead ordered pizza.

"We're really busy," said Cara VanDeusen, a pizza delivery driver. "I don't like it, but it's my job."

Deliveries for most Meals on Wheels programs canceled to keep drivers safe from the cold temperatures.

Seniors instead heated up frozen meals they received just for this occasion. Employees called the seniors to make sure they were doing OK in the cold weather.

"We are very concerned about our seniors," said Dianna Young, Meals on Wheels Director for Horizons. "Since we can't get out to them, my staff are on the phone right now and they're calling the people that we worry about."
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