Bone-chilling cold hits Greencastle area

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
The thermometer at Carl’s Drug Store was up to 5 degrees by 9 a.m. Tuesday — not much of a warmup from the minus 1 recorded over night in the Greencastle area.

Baby, it’s cold outside.

The area experienced its coldest spell in decades, with the mercury dropping to minus 1 degree overnight Monday. Greencastle weather observer Robert Wertime reported the windchill ranged from 15 to 25 degrees below zero.

“January 1994 was the last time we had such a supreme cold wave, in terms of intensity and depth in the atmosphere,” he stated. Temperatures then sank to minus 15 to minus 35 in Franklin County.

Oldtimers may also remember January 1970, when typical lows were 10 to 15 degrees below zero.

By Monday afternoon, Greencastle-Antrim School District put out the word that school was cancelled for Tuesday. Community Grace Church, 17 N. Washington St., opened its doors at 5 p.m. as a warming center. The shelter was part of the Franklin County Emergency Services network.

Pastor Paul Hutchison said no one came in, but the doors would be open again Tuesday night for homeless people, or anyone without adequate heat.

The deep freeze was expected to be short-lived, with the National Weather Service projecting the thermometer to register 25 degrees on Wednesday, and into the 40s over the weekend.