Thunderstorm Rain in Vicinity
42°FThunderstorm Rain in VicinityFull Forecast

Out Here: Think about those who work outside

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Philip Marruffo/
Steam rises from the Rock River on Monday morning as frigid temperatures bring the Sauk Valley to a standstill.

Alaska is that state far to the north that’s super cold.

But not colder than the Sauk Valley on Monday.

In the afternoon, Dixon’s temperature was minus 14, along with 7-mph winds. Anchorage, Alaska, meanwhile, enjoyed a comparatively balmy 33 degrees, with no wind at all.

But take heart: Things will turn around. The high is expected to reach the upper 30s by Friday and low 40s by Saturday. And Anchorage? Highs of about 20.

It’s amazing how life goes on, despite the unbearable conditions. I saw mail trucks around the Sauk Valley, and most people appeared to have made it to work.

I showed up at Lee County’s 911 center about 7:45 a.m., shortly after it lost power. A number of officials tried to get the generator started, struggling for a few minutes as the mercury dipped to 18 below zero.

After they got it started, they went inside the center’s basement. I didn’t seek permission to go in there, but I followed them. One, I wanted to know what was going on. And, more important, I needed to get warm.

Most of the officials didn’t mind, but one told me to leave. Hey, you can’t blame a guy for trying.

At that time, about 1,300 ComEd customers were without power, but the utility restored their electricity within hours.

While covering the problem, I had the luxury of going outside for a few short minutes and then returning to my car. Others didn’t have that perk.

I could only think about the ComEd guys working to restore power – and the police officers, firefighters and others who have to endure the cold while doing their jobs. 

Be glad you’re inside.

David Giuliani is a news editor for Sauk Valley Media. You can reach him at or 800-798-4085, ext. 525. Follow him on twitter: @DGiuliani_SVM.

Get breaking news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from Sauk Valley Media!

National video

Reader Poll

There’s a movement afoot in the Illinois Legislature to name former President Barack Obama’s birthday (Aug. 4) as a legal holiday in Illinois. What do you think?
Good idea
Bad idea
Not sure
No opinion