Eastern Iowans Prepare for Deep Freeze

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter

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By Forrest Saunders

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Clearing skies had weather experts predicting temps would hit record lows Thursday night. Eastern Iowans prepped for the deep freeze.

With much of the state in a wind chill advisory until Friday, local police urged people to take extra care on the road. Authorities said to fill gas tanks and bring blankets, hats, gloves and a cell phone along for the ride.

"Even if you don't have a cell phone, which I don't know anybody that doesn't nowadays, but carrying an old out dated cell phone will still call 9-1-1," Sgt. Cristy Hamblin with the Cedar Rapids Police Department said.

Farmers helped area livestock get through the icy night by giving them extra bedding, extra food and drinking water.

"Cattle, they've got a good coat of hair and they're dry. They can take a lot of cold weather," Terry Chapman with Kirkwood Community College Ag Sciences said.

What can't handle negative temps are pipes. They can freeze and break. Plumbers said to protect piping from cold air coming in through cracks in walls. Experts said to use insulating wraps on pipes or to let faucets run a little.

"Running water, it keeps the ground water coming in at 50 to 55 degrees and water flowing," Ron Valenta with Valenta Plumbing said.

The National Weather Service said in temperatures between zero and -19 degrees Fahrenheit, the begining stages of frostbite can happen in five minutes. Bundle up.

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