Coldest weather in years has icy grip on Kane area

Photo by Ted Lutz — U.S. Mail Carrier Juanita Blankenship is bundled up Wednesday as she delivers mail in sub-zero temperatures in Kane. Residents are urged to shovel their sidewalks and steps to provide a safe path for the dedicated mail carriers.
Ted Lutz
Staff Writer

The coldest weather in over a decade continues its icy grip on the Kane area.
Sub-zero temperatures with stiff west winds have sent the “wind-chill” factor to as low as 35 degrees below zero.
John Banghoff, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College, said Wednesday that Kane could see temperatures today of between minus-10 and minus-15 with wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour.
Classes in the Kane schools were canceled again today.
Classes also were canceled Wednesday.
Makeup days will be announced.
School District Superintendent Jeff Kepler said all events in the school district have been canceled today and tonight.
This means the public presentation on the new “Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System” won’t be held tonight at the high school.
Kepler said this presentation for parents and other community members will be rescheduled.
In calling off classes for a second straight day, Kepler said the decision is based on the weather forecast for continued sub-zero temperatures and a bitter cold “wind chill.”
“Our number one concern is the safety of our students and staff,” Kepler said.
Banghoff said the sub-zero temperatures this week will be setting daily lows in the Kane area.
He said, “a lot of arctic air” has dipped down to send bone-chilling temperatures throughout the Midwest and East.
The coldest temperatures in Kane during the current “cold snap” are expected until this afternoon, the meteorologist said.
Winds are expected to “taper off” Friday and the air temperature won’t feel as frigid, Banghoff said. Temperatures will remain low Friday, but should rebound into the 40s by Sunday, he said.
Meanwhile, Kane area residents will need to prepare for another day and night of sub-zero temperatures and “wind-chill” readings in the minus-30 range.
Exposure to these temperatures can cause symptoms of frostbite to develop very quickly.
Bill Edgar, the clinical director of nursing at the UPMC-Kane, said “uncontrolled shaking” is one symptom of frostbite that could develop with just 10 minutes of exposure to minus-30 degree “wind chill” temperatures.
He warned that fingers and hands could “turn blue” due to exposure to the frigid temperatures.
Edgar said UPMC-Kane is prepared to treat cases involving hypothermia, a medical emergency.
He said hospital doctors and nurses would “warm up” frostbite patients and “assess the severity” of the condition.
While the temperatures are expected to remain cold tonight and into Friday, there is a modest “warmup” coming.
The high-temperature Friday is expected to top 10 degrees.
Compared with the “wind-chills” of Wednesday and today, even that low reading will feel to many like a “heat wave.”