Archive for Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tonganoxie residents, crews deal with sub-zero temperatures

January 7, 2014

Temperatures dipped below zero overnight.

Wind chill levels were said to be in the 20- to 30-below range.

The frigid weather certainly hampered activities earlier this week.

Red Cross tips

The Red Cross offers some pointers for preventing frozen pipes.

• Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

• Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

• When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.

• Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

• If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

For more winter safety tips, visit

Area school districts canceled school Monday and Tuesday, citing concerns of students being exposed to the extreme temperatures.

Tonganoxie USD 464, like many districts in the area, was quick to call off school Monday. Tuesday, with temperatures set to improve, Tonganoxie Superintendent Randy Weseman took more time determining whether to call off classes for a second consecutive day.

About 5 p.m. Monday, though, Weseman announced that classes would again be canceled. With a wind chill warning forecast for early morning Tuesday, the district went the cautious route.

“Many of our children are boarding busses at 6:20 a.m., and we cannot subject our children to the extreme morning temperatures forecasted,” Weseman said in a statement.

Elsewhere in the community, the early part of the week seemed to be quiet. The Tonganoxie City Fire Department said there was nothing out of the ordinary to report.

City Superintendent Kent Heskett said the frigid weather didn’t affect any city equipment or buildings.

He did note that there were a few reports of homes with frozen pipes.

The latest cold front caused more frozen pipe headaches for Melanie Francis.

Francis, who lives in the Country Hills community just off U.S. Highway 24-40 at Smiley Road, said her pipes froze for the third time Monday.

She said the pipes first froze about two weeks ago. After that spell, she had to replace heat tape and reinuslate the water pipe underneath the house.

They froze up again Friday, she said, but thawed out by afternoon.

But Monday morning, she said, half the house was frozen, leaving her family unable to use their kitchen and one bathroom.

“(It’s) scary to think pipes could burst,” Francis said.

She said she hoped the pipes thaw out and that she’s “tired of crawling under the house.”

The inclement weather certainly has kept city crews busy.

Heskett estimated that the city has used about 80 tons of a salt and sand mixture to treat streets so far this season. The 50-50 mixture has been used often to treat several small storms, Heskett said.

“This has been a cold winter so far,” Heskett said


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