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January 7, 2014

Sub-zero temperatures chill Oskaloosa

OSKALOOSA — Sub-zero temperatures arrived in Oskaloosa Sunday night and shut down much of Oskaloosa on Monday.

Sunday afternoon, Oskaloosa Community School District officials announced on the district website the classes Monday would be canceled. In an interview late this past week, Superintendent Russ Reiter said the decision for school cancelation depended on the temperature and wind chill.

The temperature in Oskaloosa was -7 degrees at 9:40 a.m. The mercury did not climb much more as it was -2 degrees at 1:08 p.m. The National Weather Service had issued a wind chill warning that would be in effect until noon Tuesday. The wind chill was -30 degrees at 12:53 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service website in Des Moines.

Temperatures will gradually rise during the rest of the week. Today, the high will be 9 degrees with a low of 3 tonight. Wednesday, the high will be 16; Thursday, the high temperature will be 21 and Friday the high will reach 34, according to the National Weather Service website.

While temperatures had plummeted, Mahaska County Emergency Management Agency Director Jamey Robinson said no warming shelters had been opened in the county.

“We have not opened any shelters and do not foresee opening any,” he said. However, Robinson said he he made some contacts to set up shelters if they were be needed.

Besides the school district, the Mahaska County Senior Center staff also canceled the meal program Monday.

“It’s a rule of thumb that when the Oskaloosa school system is closed, we don’t do meals,” Senior Center Site Manager Cheryl Brown said.

The senior center staff will call other partner agencies such as the Christian Opportunity Center, which delivers meals; the Agency on Aging Board; and the transit authority, which picks up people for congregate meals, to decide if the kitchen would be closed, Brown said.

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