Workers in DeKalb County tell their tales of shifts during Wed. temps

January 30, 2019

In his 15 years on the force, Sgt. Christian Kuhns with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office said he has never felt as cold on duty as he did during extremely low temperatures Wednesday.

Kuhns, who had been on patrol since 6 a.m. Wednesday, said the majority of calls he’d gotten were related to cars ending up in ditches or stuck in snow drifts that blew over some of the southern and more rural parts of the county. Other than some back roads being reduced to one lane because of the drifts and a few semi-tractor trailers breaking down on the side of the road, he said, his shift had been relatively uneventful.

“So a lot of people stayed home,” Kuhns said.

Todd Kluber, meterologist for National Weather Service, said the lowest recorded temperature as of 7 a.m. Wednesday was minus 26 degrees from the NWS observer location at Northern Illinois University’s main campus in DeKalb, which is one degree higher than the lowest all-time observed temperature on Jan. 20, 1985.

Jon Ormond, a DeKalb Public Works employee, was working on a water main break on Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb. He said he had been working outside all day, but the weather wasn’t too bad as long as people dressed for it.

“We knew what to expect today,” Ormond said. “It’s harder on the mechanical things. Temperatures this low are hard on some of our equipment.”

Tara Nunez, general manager for Tom & Jerry’s in DeKalb, said business for the restaurant was about 98 percent delivery all day Wednesday. She said there was also a bit of uncertainty about whether the restaurant would open altogether until workers volunteered to come in on Wednesday anyway.

“But we were like, you know what, there are people out there that need to eat,” Nunez said.

Nico Santucci, delivery driver for Tom & Jerry’s, said his one of two shifts starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday was busier than usual, and he only had one customer not tip him for delivery.

“Some people were really nice, and some people are like, ‘come inside,’ ” Santucci said.

Santucci said people really shouldn’t feel bad for delivery drivers going out in weather conditions like the area saw Wednesday, especially if they’re dressed for it. However, he said, gratuity should absolutely reflect the weather conditions outside.

“If someone’s working today, it’s because they want to,” Santucci said.

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