ROCK FALLS – The deep freeze made its presence felt Tuesday at Rock Falls Living Center.
The weather didn’t much care that the 72-unit affordable housing community at 2202 12th Ave., where residents are 55 and older, had new furnaces installed just last spring.
With wind chills of minus 30 overnight, calls started coming into the Whiteside County Housing Authority staff in the wee hours of the morning Tuesday from residents with no heat.
“The condensation on the roof froze and shut down the furnaces,” said Lynn Deter, executive director at the Housing Authority. “The first call came in at 2 a.m., and we’re guessing, affected all 72 units.”
BPI Brands Heating & Cooling of Morrison came to town to work on the problem with Housing Authority maintenance staff.
By 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, only two units were left without heat, Deter said. Space heaters were brought in and stoves periodically turned on in some units. Many of the residents left to stay with family or friends until the problem was fixed.
“Space heaters can be very dangerous, so we turned a few on for a while, but they were closely monitored,” Deter said.
The Housing Authority will meet to make plans for the remainder of the cold snap, Deter said.
The wind-chill warning in effect for the Sauk Valley expired at noon Tuesday, but not because it’s not getting warm anytime soon. The warning was replaced with an advisory that is in place for the area until 10 a.m. Thursday.
Temperatures – not factoring in the wind chill – are expected to reach a low of about 10 below tonight, Thursday and Friday evenings. Forecasts are for the cold streak to finally break Sunday, with an expected high of 33 degrees and a nighttime low of 21 degrees.