NEWELL— A recent cold snap swept through Newell, along with the surrounding areas of Vale and Nisland, bringing frigid temperatures and causing widespread disruption. The severe weather conditions not only affected school and sports events, but also created an array of challenges for the community as a whole.
The freezing temperatures moved into the area Thursday, January 11, with temperatures dropping to the single digits during the day and the negatives at night. The nights of January 12 and 13 both came in at lows of -28° F, and the lows stayed in the negatives or single digits all the way up to the end of last week, January 19. The freezing weather was accompanied by snow, flurries, wind gusts, and wind chills ranging from the -40°s to the -30°s.
Detrimental effects to the community were extensive, from road closures and blockages to community events being cancelled. Some got stuck in snowbanks, while others could not get their cars to start. Snow piled up on the highway and in yards. Pipes froze or burst, and electricity briefly flickered on and off. The elderly could not receive their scheduled Meals on Wheels for several days. Story Time at the Newell Library was cancelled, with the next Story Time date being February 11. Church was also cancelled last Sunday, and unfortunately, the Nisland-Arpan Fire & Rescue Soup Supper was also cancelled this year.
Due to the inclement weather and resulting water issues, Newell School District cancelled school on January 15 and 16. There was also a remote learning day on January 18 after a 2-hour late start. Additionally, the wrestling event scheduled for January 12 in Newcastle was cancelled, along with the wrestling tournament scheduled for January 13 in Gettysburg. The varsity girls’ basketball game versus Custer was postponed to January 19; several West River Tournament basketball games hosted by Newell were postponed as well.
Newell School District has set its snow day makeup dates for Friday, January 26 and Friday, February 2.
Thankfully, according to forecasts, the area can look forward to temperatures in the 40° range next week. Stay warm!