Workers Rough Frigid Winter Temperatures

By Chris Earl, Anchor/Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Amid a break, relatively-speaking, from the extreme cold burying Eastern Iowa in winter, thousands of drivers rush past a handful of workers holding up signs for hours.

In the cold.

"You need a lot of physical stamina," said a man standing at the corner of Blairs Ferry Road and Center Point Road, holding up a large ad for a store going out of business. "I'm using my weight to anchor it to the ground. If I let go of it, it goes everywhere."

The man told us he was in the middle of a five-hour shift, from 11 AM to 4 PM in the unrelenting winter winds that blew through the region on Friday.

Nick Davidson is also running with the shadows of the night, delivering pizzas and other food orders for the Happy Joe's just off Collins and Lindale.

"I'm worried about Sunday," Davidson said of when the truly cold weather will descend. "I don't know the coldest day but I'm worried about Sunday."

To obtain a sense of the anticipation for the next few days, here is the KCRG-TV 9's Extended Forecast highs:
Saturday: 21
Sunday: 0
Monday: -15
Tuesday: -4
Wednesday: 19

Yes, that three-day stretch of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday really sticks out.

Jason Surratt, of Cedar Rapids, was finishing some shopping with his sixth-grade son, Jeffrey, on Friday afternoon, winter caps and coats secured tightly.

"I might get him a new pair of jeans and then up to Cedar Falls to see some family and then I think we'll do some hibernating," said Surratt, nodding at his son. "On Monday, he's hoping that he will be frozen out of school and we get to spend a couple of extra days there in Cedar Falls."

Even more than two days before Monday, cancellations and delays are already being announced in some pockets of the region as record cold is expected to hit.

Maria Johnson, of Center Point, smiled as she thought of her plan. "Oh my goodness, just stay home, drive some hot chocolate, watch some TV and maybe make some chicken soup."

From the Ace Hardware on Center Point Road in Cedar Rapids, manager Sue Snitker has encountered some ambitious customers.

"It's been nice and pleasant and a lot of people have been in and saying, 'I'm not going to do anything but just paint. And they get paint.'"
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