Cold, road conditions prompt warnings, cancellations

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Sunday, January 26, 2014

JANESVILLE—Here we go again.

Not satisfied with one polar vortex that cancelled schools and froze pipes, Mother Nature has given us another bout of what the National Weather Service is calling “dangerous cold.”

And when officials at the National Weather Service use the word “dangerous” it doesn't mean “gosh-awful”, it means “life threatening.”

A wind chill advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. tonight when it becomes a wind chill warning, according to the National Weather Service in Sullivan.

The wind chill will bring temperatures down to between  minus 25 and  minus 35 degrees today. Tonight and Tuesday are expected to be even worse with temperatures between  minus 35 and minus 45 degrees.

Winds will cause severe blowing and drifting of snow on both days. Whiteout conditions are possible, especially in rural areas. Roads running north and south are expected to be impacted the most, the weather service said.

In such bitter cold, wind chill can cause frostbite on exposed skin within 10 minutes.

A winter storm warning issued Saturday was scheduled to end at 6 a.m. today.

On Sunday night, whiteout conditions prompted officials in Green and Iowa counties to pull their plows off the road, and the weather service was encouraging people to travel only in the case of emergency.

Blowing and drifting is expected to continue to make travel hazardous through the early part of this week.

Officials are warning people who must travel in the cold to keep their gas tanks at least half full and keep a charged cellphone with them.

By noon Sunday, school districts, day care centers and other organization were announcing that they would be closed today. By 9:30 a.m., almost all Rock and Walworth county school districts had decided to close.

Delavan-Darien School, Whitewater and Stoughton school districts announced that they would be closed both Monday and Tuesday.

In addition, some of the organizations that serve children when they have time off from school will also be closed. The Boys and Girls Club of Janesville and the Clinton Public Library announced that they would be closed on Monday. The Whitewater Aquatic Center canceled classes today, but planned to remain open through 6 p.m. tonight.

More churches have opened their doors as warming shelters.

Daytime warming shelters in Janesville include:

—Hedberg Public Library, 316 S. Main St., 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

—The Shelter, for men only, 407 W. Van Buren St., 7 a.m. to .6 p.m

—Trinity Episcopal Church, 419 E. Court St., 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Hours listed are for Monday and Tuesday.

Overnight shelters in Janesville include:

Cargill United Methodist Church, 2000 Wesley Ave. Register by 11 p.m. at 608-201-2779 or in person.

GIFTS Men's Shelter, men only, Church of Christ, 2103 Roxbury Road, through Saturday, Feb. 1. Register at 608_371-3735.

House of Mercy, women, children and families only, 320 Lincoln St. Register by 6 p.m. at 608-754-0045.

Last updated: 10:07 pm Sunday, January 26, 2014

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