Friday News, July 6
County to Begin Paving Project on C-60
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Secondary Road Department has announced County Road C-60 from K-49 to K-42 will be closed beginning Monday and it will remain closed until September 14th. Road crews will be laying new pavement for the six mile stretch of highway.
Heat Wave Causing Problems for Road Department
(Le Mars) -- The ongoing heat wave is creating problems for road departments as highways have expanded and buckled. Plymouth County engineer Tom Rohe says the heat is responsible for at least two areas that have needed patching due to the pavement expanding.
The county engineer says each repair project due to the heat expanding the pavement can cost the county a few thousand dollars.
Last year the county road crews had to make two repairs where the road had buckled, and Rohe believes additional buckling may occur this summer especially if the heat wave continues.
Utility Companies See Surge in Energy Usage From Heat Wave
(Le Mars) -- The heat wave has utility companies seeing a surge in energy usage. But officials with Northern Iowa Power Cooperative, otherwise known as NIPCO say they have anticipated the extra surge and have adapted accordingly. Kent Pauling is the Executive Vice President and General Manager for NIPCO. He says they have not seen any outages due to the excessive heat.
NIPCO serves approximately 32,000 customers through its seven rural electrical cooperatives. Pauling says a few years ago, the member co-ops established a program called "Switch Makes Cents" that redirects energy away from some customers during peak load times. Pauling says the program has been beneficial, especially during this heat wave.
Mid-American Company spokesperson,Tina Potthoff says although energy usage has increased it isn't at the record set during the summer of 2011.
Potthoff says Mid-American has not had any power outages as a result of the heat wave. Potthoff offers some energy saving tips that can be implemented to help save energy and money.
Cattle Under Stress From Heat Wave
(Orange City) -- This heat wave is not only uncomfortable to us, but it can be deadly for livestock. Beth Doran, Iowa State University Extension Livestock Specialist says for market cattle, the heat and humidity can be troublesome, especially when there is little to no air movement.
She says cattle producers have done a good job of placing the cattle in shaded areas or turning on water sprinklers to cool down the cattle. The I-S-U Beef Specialist hasn't heard of any instances when the cattle have parished as a result of the heat, but she says performance levels will decline.
Doran says besides market cattle, the heat can also negatively affect cow-calf operations.
Pasture ground is also feeling the stress of the drought. Doran says many of the pastures in northwest Iowa are looking "tough"
As a result of the dry and hot conditions, Doran expects hay will soon be selling at premium prices. She suggests producers transport their livestock either at night or early in the morning prior to the rise of the heat and humidity.
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