The North Bend Eagle

 

Locals adapt to freezing cold

by Stephanie Iwa Flamme
Published 1/20/16

It’s winter. In Nebraska.

With forecasts for snow and sub-zero temperatures and windchills, the weather has everyone bundling up in North Bend and taking more precautions.

City clerk Theresa Busse said the water plant operators are checking the system more often and crews are spreading sand and salt on the streets especially around icy intersections to keep drivers safer.

“As ice melts and refreezes this may cause problems with drainage,” Busse said, “so the city keeps on top of things.”

Keeping the sidewalks clear is also a concern for the city.

“The city sometimes gets complaints in the winter because several property owners don’t scoop the snow from their sidewalks in a timely matter or if ever,” Busse said. “Sidewalks within the residential areas of the city need to be cleaned within 24 hours after the cessation of the storm.”

At the Corner Cafe the workers from Frontier Coop had a different perspective on the sub-zero temperatures.

“The cold is good because the ground is frozen and its better for spreading fertilizer,” Tony Hartman said.

Hartman and co-workers Andrew VanHoozer and Robert Thege all agreed the cold weather did make some changes in how they operated.

“I start the vehicles earlier and let them warm up before going out,” VanHoozer said.

Corner Cafe waitress Monica Gdowski said that the cold hadn’t affected business too much. Two diners chose North Bend as a meeting destination.

“I almost didn’t come here because of the cold,” Carlos Anaya of Lincoln said.

He met fellow diner Olivia Makos of Omaha who felt the cold was keeping her inside too much.

“I like to be outside and play and walk with my dog,” she said. “and the temperatures are keeping us inside.”

Area churches keep a close watch on their thermostats, making sure they are on and working. Deanna Mitties is the church secretary for the local United Presbyterian Church.

“In the past few years we did have a furnace go out in the sanctuary,” she said, “Of course, on the coldest day of the year which happened to be a Sunday. One time the furnace that heats the restroom area accidentally got switched to off and after a couple days of very, very cold temps the water in those toilets had ice in the tanks. That was not so good.”

Mitties could not remember a Sunday when services had been cancelled due to the cold.

“We just leave that decision up to members as to whether they want to venture out or not,” Mitties said.

Rev. Jeremy Hazuka from St. George and Sacred Heart Churches felt that if there was a National Weather Service wind chill warning, he would consider canceling a weekday Mass at Sacred Heart Church and move it to Morse Bluff.

“Now, a large snow would be another matter, especially for Scared Heart,” Hazuka said.

The colder temperatures do have an affect on attendance, according to Hazuka.

“I did notice this past weekend that attendance seemed to suffer for the Saturday evening Vigil Mass and the 8 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart, but the 10 a.m. service was a little better attended,” he said.

For area farmers, the cold weather allows them to get caught up. Rick Satorie of Satorie Sod Farm takes the opportunity to work on equipment in his shop.

“The weather picks our time when we get to work outside or moves us into the shop organizing,”Satorie said.

Scott Dubsky, who works with storage and repair, added that a lot of work gets done during these cold days that he can’t get to in the summer.

Without a doubt, the January cold snap keeps North Benders inside working on projects, reading or maybe watching a bit more television.

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