The coldest day of winter so far has a freezing grip on Iowa and left several towns without power this morning as wind chill factors hover around 20-below zero. Mid-American Energy spokesman Kevin Waetke says parts of Wright County started experiencing power outages early today. Waetke blames an insulator failure on one of the company’s high-voltage lines that served Eagle Grove, Latimer, and Clarion. In central Iowa, Perry also lost power this morning. Waetke says crews responded to the outages right away and crews were able to switch the power to an alternate source for some of the area.Power was restored to Perry, Eagle Grove and Latimer relatively quickly, but about 18-hundred customers in Clarion were without power until 9:30 AM. Waetke blames this morning’s outages, in part, on the extreme cold. Waetke says the most important thing to do when the power goes out in the extreme cold is finding another place to go to keep warm. Waetke says the old theory of trying to warm your house with a natural gas-powered stove when the power goes out is a very bad idea. He says if it gets too cold, you should go somewhere else instead of risking trouble by trying to use an alternative heat source.Waetke says in these types of situations, always check on friend and family as well as the people around you to be sure they’re okay. Clarion-Goldfield schools were forced to cancel their classes today due to the power outage.
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