» By David Harris

Staff Writer

In the first two weeks of 2014, the U.S. was hit by a cold front, the coldest in 20 years.

The arctic blast was caused by a polar vortex, “a large-scale cyclone centered near the Earth’s poles in the middle and upper troposphere and stratosphere,” according to wordiq.com. The blast dramatically affected major cities in northeastern U.S., including New York, Pittsburg, Detroit and Washington D.C.

Canada was also hit with snow and life-threatening temperatures. Temperatures dropped to below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. The winds then spread Southeast and Midwest, affecting other parts of the country. Airlines were delayed, vehicles stopped working, schools were closed, power was out and roads were iced over.

“During that time my sleep schedule was pretty backwards,” said Dakota Weedon, a freshman vocal performance major. “I started my car in the morning before I went to sleep. Then whenever I had woken up later that day and tried to start my car, it wouldn’t start. So I didn’t have a car for about two weeks.”

Another issue created by the cold front was the emergence of plumbing problems caused by frozen pipes, compounded by the concerns that pipes would thaw when temperatures rise.

Due to water pipes bursting, heating difficulties and power outages, the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System closed schools from Monday, Jan. 6, through Wednesday, Jan 8.

Spring Gardner, a senior at Northwest High School, said she enjoyed the drop in temperature. Gardner said getting to stay home a couple extra days is always a plus to her.

Karel Biggs, a science teacher at New Providence Middle School, said she doesn’t think many houses in Tennessee are built for such cold weather, “especially with heat pumps and electric heat.”

“A lot of homes, especially newer ones, don’t seem to have the insulation needed to keep pipes from freezing,” Biggs said.

Biggs said what concerned her the most was that kids were forced to wait for the buses in the inclement weather. Biggs said she hopes there won’t be any more          snow days. TAS