A 90-year-old Aredale man was airlifted to a Mason City hospital after neighbors found he’d fallen near his car after it got stuck on a rural road and may have lain there for several hours in the cold Thursday morning. The weather forecast the next few days includes another winter storm for parts of the state and dangerous windchills of 20 to 30 below zero. Burlington Fire Department Captain Mark Crooks says this kind of winter weather is nothing to take lightly. The Captain says they’ve had several ambulance calls to help elderly people who’ve slipped and fallen on the ice. He says no matter how old or young you are, nobody should try to tough out the cold without proper protection. People need to wear gloves and hats, as he says they’ve also seen frostbitten fingers and ears on people who’ve been out doing things like blowing snow. And in addition to the usual caution about not using hands to clear the stuck blades of your snow-throwing machines, the fire and rescue captain recommends another measure to protect the operator. Eye protection, he says, because you don’t know what that machine will throw — it could be not just snow but rocks as well. In weather this cold, much of the risk has ended that an unwary angler, hiker or skater will fall through thin ice, but the captain says it’s still possible. He says the city of Burlington had a plow clearing snow off the lake in a city park, and it went through the ice — not a serious tragedy since the water’s only three feet deep.
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