It was just plain and simple — COLD! — coldest temperatures on record since 1983 in Bradley and surrounding counties, and throughout the region.
Through the popular social media site Facebook, a number of area residents — and even those who no longer live in the U.S. — chimed in to answer a question about the frigid conditions and what was happening in their neighborhoods and lives.
Frozen water pipes, heat pumps that couldn’t keep up in single-digit temperatures, working in the cold and other topics were discussed.
Just what were the lowest temperatures recorded in the area?
At the most northern point, Wacker’s weather station recorded a low of 3.6 Fahrenheit (or -15.78 Celsius, for international readers). Gusty winds of 19 mph dropped wind chill values to -23 F, according to the National Weather Service chill calculator.
Of course, temperatures will vary from place to place, and thermometers may be calibrated differently.
Tammy Leatherwood is ready for the frigid temps to rise.
Mike Olinger of Charleston reported recording 5 degrees in the Harbor Hills community.
On the other end of the temperature scale, former Bradley County Sheriff’s Office detective Bill Burtt, who now lives in Thailand, said he was enjoying a sunny 85 degrees.
Former city of Charleston employee Sherill Johnston said it was 2 degrees in Green Cove at Tellico, and missionary Jimmy Gee reported partly cloudy skies and 82 degrees in eastern Africa.
Jason Owens of Rick Owens Plumbing said he was working at a home in the western section of the county and recorded 2 degrees there.
After a little more chatter from Facebookers, Owens ended up explaining how to keep pipes from freezing.
Faucets were left dripping and some residents didn’t freeze up, while others did.
Banner employee Pam Green said it was 1 degree in Meigs County and her granddaughter Marley was fascinated over the fact a bottle of water left in her car overnight was frozen solid.
Marcus Pullin also reported frozen water, but inside his house. Michelle Hammonds usually enjoys cold weather and provides firewood to those in need. The past two days, she has been battling freezing water lines as well.
“I’m over it,” she said.
Joe Little was going to brave the cold conditions and extreme wind chill on his motorcycle, but it wouldn’t start.
He had to drive his truck.
Some people even blame the weather on Tennessean and former Vice President Al Gore and his global warming theory.
Former Banner photographer Donna Overby said she just liked saying the words “polar vortex.”
Kristi Muhonen’s garage door was frozen in the open position while her thermometer read 4 degrees.
JoAnn Rogers said it was -10 at her Tellico Mountain home, then the 9 degree temperature felt like a heat wave.
Now a Hamilton County resident, Julie Kemp, reported a temperature of 7 degrees. She has ties to Crossville, which reported -8 degrees.
Her husband, Randy, has established a new business in Rio de Janeiro, where it was 82 degrees when he gave his report.
Hmmm … passport in hand!
“It has been amazingly difficult to deal with,” said Ben Haney, a former Cleveland Insurance associate who lives in Chatsworth, Ga., regarding the past few days of the Polar Vortex.
James Berry and Janet Keith both agreed the cold should be good for killing mosquitoes and germs.
Banner news carrier Jennifer Price said the cold weather is difficult for carriers because they have to constantly keep their windows down in order to deliver papers.
Former carrier Tonya Ricketts said she now works in a building where there is no heat, and she never gets warm.
A number of Facebookers summed it up with one word, but we can’t repeat it here.
Debra Davis simply said, “I think Mother Earth knows what is best.”
The temperature rose above the freezing mark just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. As lines begin to thaw on their own due to the warmup, remember to watch for leaks.
According to the NWS, it will be a rainy weekend in the 60s.