Extra precautions urged with subzero tempratures

(Radio Iowa) – Iowa is starting the new year with some cold temperatures and it should get even colder soon. Police are encouraging Iowans to take extra care if they’re traveling by keeping the gas tank full and by taking blankets, hats, gloves, and a cell phone along for the ride.

Sergeant Cristy Hamblin is a spokesperson for the Cedar Rapids Police Department.  “Even if you don’t have a cell phone, which I don’t know anybody who doesn’t nowadays, but carrying an old outdated cell phone will still call 911,” Hamblin says.

Terry Chapman, with Kirkwood Community College Ag Sciences, says farmers can help livestock survive this cold spell by giving them extra bedding, extra food, and drinking water.  “Cattle, they’ve got a good coat of hair and they’re dry. They can take a lot of cold weather,” Chapman says. The cold weather can also cause serious problems in a home, as pipes can freeze and break. Plumbers say homeowners should protect piping from cold air leaking through cracks in walls with insulating wraps. They also advise letting faucets run a little to keep water flowing.

While high temperatures will range from the teens to low 30s today and tomorrow, the forecast calls for lows on Sunday night into Monday to reach 10-to-25 below zero. Highs on Monday, statewide, may not climb above zero.