Newton USD 373 canceled school and activities Feb. 16 as bone-chilling tempuratures and winter weather continued in the area.
On Tuesday morning, the temperature hit a low of minus 14 degrees. Wind chills of minus 30 have been recorded during the more than weeklong stretch of weather that has forced school and business closures.
A polar vortex has pushed the severe winter weather as far south as Texas, creating energy demand and shortages in the middle of the country. Evergy responded to calls for conservation with controlled, rolling power blackouts on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, the company website said there would be no blackouts that day, one day after those blackouts hit more than 270,000 Kansans.
The company was still urging consumers to conserve energy in the face of natural gas peak demand, which created difficulties for electrical generation facilities.
The forecast, according to kansan.com partner Accuweather.com, calls for an easing of the cold temperatures in the days ahead — with Saturday the first day in two weeks predicted for above freezing temperatures. Highs are predicted to be in the 50s by Monday.