As the temperature climbed back above freezing Saturday, after 14 days of bitter cold weather local residents were getting out of the warm confines of their homes.
Tuesday, February 16 the local temps fell to 14 degrees below zero eclipsing the previous record set in 1979 at minus 1 degree.
The next day on Wednesday February 17, the low temperature of 13 degrees below zero, took out a record of six degrees below zero in 1900 a previous record that stood for 121 years.
City water crews worked nearly around the clock checking and attempting to repair frozen meters. Broken pipes flooded homes, electricity was off for many residents and yet, only two days were record setting cold daily temperatures.
The water department asked residents to curtail water usage due to the frozen pipes bursting and decreasing the water supply.
City Superintendent Scott Bennett and his crew were cruising the community checking where pipes had been frozen. Watching for unusual leakage. Several broken pipes were noticed and further damage was prevented.
Very few of the electricity outages in the area were extended.
Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputies delivered food to those unable to make their way to the stores or food pantries.
The roadways throughout the county including the cities and state roadways were generally passable.
Though an inconvenience and certainly uncomfortable, the county has escaped the storm.
People emerged to walk and jog in residential neighborhoods after days indoors. Many roads had dried out, and patches of snow were melting. Snowmen slumped.
The Columbus Schools were meeting virtually for the first few days then on Monday returned to in person learning. However, Friday the Columbus schools did not hold classes and had a snow day.
Higher temperatures spread across the southern United States on Saturday, bringing relief to a winterweary region that faces a challenging clean-up and expensive repairs from days of extreme cold and widespread power outages. In hard-hit Texas,
where millions were warned to boil tap water before drinking it, the warm-up was expected to last for several days. The thaw produced burst pipes throughout the region, adding to the list of woes from severe conditions that were blamed for more than 70 deaths.