Neither snow nor rain nor downright frigid temperatures...
Warren County schools were shut down and many people who usually spend a portion of their work day outside were kept in on Tuesday in response to the sub-zero temperatures and dangerous wind chills.
The high was about zero degrees Fahrenheit and the wind chill made it feel much colder - down to 30 below. The City of Warren Fire Department records weather information. According to Operations and Training Officer Joe Beardsley, the low of -11 Monday set a Warren record. The previous record for Jan. 6 was -8 set in 1940 and matched in 1996. The coldest temperature in their records dates from Feb. 11, 1979 when it was 34-below zero. In 1994, there was a stretch of cold weather from Jan. 16 through 21 in which the low temperatures ranged from -2 to -20 in the city.
Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry
The Warren American Legion time and temperature display shows -3 degrees at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. During his route, U.S. Postal Service Carrier Gary Shaffer braves the cold to deliver the mail along Market Street.
The U.S. Postal Service, however, does not take weather days.
Carrier Gary Shaffer was out for about six hours Tuesday.
He said he remembers times when the temperature was similar, but "it's been a couple years."
Asked what he thought of the bitter cold, he said, "There are better things I could be doing."
Conditions were not to his liking.
"I like the heat," he said. "Cold is the worst. Cold is what I hate."
He added layers of Under Armour and Postal Service-issue outerwear to his usual gear. "I feel okay for now," Shaffer said shortly after the start of the outdoor portion of his day.
Thanks to the efforts of contracted carriers, the Times Observer made it to homes throughout the county Tuesday morning.
In Tidioute, carrier Brian Faulkner bundled up for his early-morning routine.
"I dressed extra warm," he said. "Just compared to every other day it was especially cold."
After getting out before 5:30 a.m., Faulkner had the route wrapped up by 6:15.
"It was a relief to feel the warmth again," he said. "I just laid back down in bed and relaxed."
Deanna "DJ" Hahn said her paper route is "like two small routes, on two streets in Warren." Tuesday morning's deliveries only took a little longer than normal, at 35 minutes in sub-zero temperatures. "I wanted to hurry it up," she said.
Hahn added that she "threw on more hats and gloves" than usual, and that it felt great after finishing when she went back inside.
The City of Warren kept non-emergency personnel inside on Tuesday.
While police officers, with the exception of parking enforcement, and firefighters were out as usual, workers with the Department of Public Works were not. "We've decided to do indoor maintenance," Assistant Director Vinnie Massa said. "We're not trying to get outdoors any more than anybody."
Workers were ready to respond to emergencies if necessary, but the city vehicles were in need of work and Tuesday was the right day to do it, Massa said.
Of the recycling and garbage collection companies that serve the Warren area, Fitch Disposal worked its usual routes Tuesday, but Advanced Disposal did not. A message on the Advanced phone line indicated that Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday pick-up would be pushed back one day.