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Akron-area temperatures heading for deeper freeze

Beacon Journal staff report

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This winter is shaping up to be one of those that Grandpa used to grumble about.

Some of the chilliest temperatures ever recorded are expected today in the Akron area.

Most schools, government offices and even most universities have closed their doors for today as the high is expected to be just 3 degrees.

With temperatures expected to plunge to 13 below zero tonight, Wednesday’s expected high of 12 will offer little, if any, relief.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind-chill warning through noon Wednesday as the so-called real-feel temperature on exposed skin will be 20 to 30 degrees below zero.

Some forecasters were warning that areas of Northeast Ohio could see lows bottom out at minus 20 degrees early today. The previous low temperature for this date is minus 13 degrees in 1977.

If Akron-area temperatures flirted with the minus-20 mark overnight, it would be a 50-degree departure from the normal high for this date of 34 degrees.

January has proven to be one for the record books already. The first round of cold weather earlier in the month shattered several records.

This cold snap prompted countless cancellations — from sporting events to concerts to meetings — sometimes more than 24 hours in advance.

Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties said Monday that it will be closed today. Clients were delivered hot meals Monday along with two frozen meals to cover days that the agency might be closed.

“The well-being and health of our clients is very important to us; but with the extreme weather the safety of our volunteers is also a concern,” Ted Watko, interim executive director for Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties, said in a news release. “However, we were proactive and our clients have been delivered an additional two frozen meals that will last for a couple of days.”

Regular meal delivery is expected to resume as early as Wednesday.

State officials and utilities asked residents and businesses to conserve everything from electricity to natural gas to propane to heating oil as the plummet in temperatures created a spike in demand.

Many cities and agencies, including the American Red Cross, set up warming centers Monday for residents to escape the cold. Centers will be open today, with some planning to remain open Wednesday as well.

Temperatures are so cold that Metro RTA is overlooking long-established rules at the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center to provide a place for folks to keep warm.

“We’ll lessen our rules on loitering and that kind of thing within the transit center, so if people need to stay warm they can hang out in the transit center a little longer,” said Molly Becker, a Metro spokeswoman.

The center is at 631 S. Broadway, near downtown Akron.

Becker said no buses had trouble starting Monday morning. The larger buses are kept in a heated garage, and the smaller SCAT buses have heaters that keep their engine blocks warm overnight.


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