Frigid Monday weather a rude awakening

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This morning's frigid temperatures, biting winds and snow was a rude awakening for small communities across central Indiana.

With the sun coming up over the courthouse square in Lebanon, residents couldn't bundle up enough or hurry up enough to escape this painfully cold weather. Gary Kirby looked miserable.

"I would rather be at home where it is warm. If you don't have to go out, you shouldn't go out," he said with steam coming from his mouth.

Overnight and into the early morning, wind gusts of more than 50 miles an hour made single-digit temperatures feel more like chilling 25 degrees below zero. Flags flapped wildly in the wind. Motorists on their way to work couldn't fill their cars with gas quickly enough. One young man appeared to have a "brain freeze."

"It's brutal. It is brutal out here. Real brutal," he said, shaking his head and shivering.

Like many other communities, Lebanon's schools opened two hours late. That gave workers extra time to start all 50 buses. Keeping the fleet running in this prolonged cold weather is taking more work and money.

In the maintenance garage, there is a small stack of boxes filled with diesel fuel antifreeze. The transportation manager says so many other truck and bus operations are using it to keep their engines running, Lebanon schools is having a hard time finding it.

"We just keep moving forward, thinking there will be a break and we can take a rest," Becky Nichols said with a half-smile.

Boone County's highway department has already burned through half the year's overtime budget and there is still plenty of winter, spring potholes and summer paving to worry about.

By mid-morning, a rainbow appeared over the south side of Lebanon. Unfortunately, at the end of the rainbow, there was no pot of gold, just a big pile of snow.

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