Dubuque Families Without Power on Near Record Cold Night

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter


By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Thousands of customers were without power early Tuesday as temperatures dipped as low at -21 degrees. That's only one degrees from tying the record low for Dubuque, -22 degrees. Officials say the outage happened because of a water main break. The break happened at the busy intersection of John F Kennedy and Asbury Roads.

A pipe burst just after 1 a.m. Tuesday morning. Below ground, the water flowed into Alliant Energy's switch cabinet and fried the equipment.

Paul Beck woke up around 2 a.m shivering a little more than usual.

"I knew I didn't have any phone or anything so I grabbed my cell phone, and we just waited. If it dropped too low, I was going to have to make a phone call," Beck said.

With no heat for more than two hours, he was surprised how his house stayed pretty warm.

"It didn't really get that cold in that time. We got down to about 64 or 63. It was never that cold, " said Beck.

Some neighbors say while the power was out, they worried how long they'd be without heat.

"You just kind of hope but you don't know. There is nothing you can do about it either," one neighbor said.

Alliant Energy says they restored power around 3:30 a.m.

City Crews spent the frigid morning outside repairing the burst pipe that started it all.

"Everybody says their hands get cold first and sometimes their face, but my feet usually get cold first," Contracted City Employee Billy Ostwinkle said.

So far this winter, these kinds of cold weather repairs have been a common occurrence for this contracted crew.

"It's been a long time since we had an old fashion winter like we're having now. But I am ready for spring," said Ostwinkle.

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