Dispatch from the Polar Vortex

Winter in Iowa

Editor’s Note: This email was sent to members of our home owners association at the beginning of the polar vortex of 2019. As I write this note, the outdoors ambient temperature is 26 degrees below zero and one person in the county seat has died from exposure.


As you likely know, ambient temperatures are forecast to get down to -25 degrees by 8 a.m. tomorrow morning and to -30 degrees overnight tomorrow. After that temperatures are expected to warm through Saturday and Sunday when it is forecast to be in the 40s.

That’s a seventy degree swing in a couple of days, which can be hard on things like water and sewer lines.

19th century British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli said, “Be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.”

We will do everything reasonable to get service back up as soon as possible if it is interrupted. Asking a contractor to work in wind chills like we haven’t seen since we moved here is not reasonable. I plan to contact our main contractor Wednesday and discuss the situation so we know our options in the event of a breakage.

What you can do to prepare for a potential outage is keep a temporary water supply if you don’t already.

In our household we keep a large Rubbermaid beverage container filled with water to use for washing hands and cooking in case we lose water.

We used to buy bottled water to have on hand but quit doing that over the years. It is an option.

If we know there will be an outage ahead of time, we fill up our two stock pots and keep them on the stove to be boiled and used to wash up in lieu of a shower, or as otherwise needed. We have also filled up coolers in the bathtub to use to flush the toilet.

Fingers crossed we will make it through the cold spell without a line breakage.

If something does happen, the procedures for reporting a water problem are below.

I hope this is helpful.

Paul Deaton

2 replies on “Dispatch from the Polar Vortex”

Thanks for the update my Friend.
You can always move to California where the weather is a ‘little’ warmer this time of year.
: )
Keep writing. I enjoy reading.
Your Friend always.
Keith Bailey
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