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Fox Valley residents have different ways to deal with bone-chilling cold

Scott TratsWisconsstopped an Aurorgas statiMonday fuel his 10-wheeler semi loaded with 5-tons drywall insulatiheaded for stops Lake Bluff Chicago. |

Scott Tratson, of Wisconsin, stopped at an Aurora gas station on Monday to fuel his 10-wheeler semi loaded with 5-tons of drywall and insulation headed for stops in Lake Bluff and Chicago. | photo by Linda Girardi~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 8, 2014 6:18AM

Terry Cadwallader was on a Metra train headed from LaFox to Chicago on Monday when he received an e-mail alert from work that the office would be closed for the day.

Cadwallader, who lives in the Mill Creek subdivision near Geneva, said he got off at the Geneva station to head back home, but the train was an hour late.

“I could have stayed in bed,” Cadwallader said, laughing.

Cadwallader, who works in the insurance industry, said in the past 25 years he can only remember one other time his office closed because of cold weather.

“It’s all right, stuff happens. I’ll probably work from home,” the commuter said, just before boarding the 8:15 a.m. train back to LaFox.

Early commuters were toughing out Monday morning’s extreme cold weather. Many were either used to Chicago winters or have lived in climates where winters of this kind are typical, such as Wisconsin or South Dakota.

They didn’t anticipate Monday’s late arrival of trains, however.

Commuters were told the switches froze on passenger trains at the Elburn train yard. The regularly scheduled 5 a.m. and 5:22 a.m., as well as the 5:39 a.m., trains didn’t come at all, leaving workers waiting in the station and a nearby coffee shop. The first train out of Geneva left the station at 5:48 a.m.

“This is another adventure in life,” said Jen Lidel, of St. Charles.

“I am prepared for the cold with snow pants and goggles in the bag for the walk downtown,” said Lidel, who works in the finance industry in Chicago. “I have to walk across the river from Canal Street to Wacker Drive right where the wind hits you.”

Katie Jackson, of Geneva, shrugged off the cold when she stepped into the coffee shop, prepared to walk seven blocks from the Ogilvie Transportation Center to her office on LaSalle Street when she gets to Chicago. She had on a down feathered, full-length black coat with a fur trimmed hood to help shield the wind from her face.

“When I got up this morning the first thing I did was look at the outdoor thermometer that read 15 degrees below zero. There’s nothing we can do about the weather other than get through it,” Jackson said.

“Today is bit of a character-tester,” said Greg Snider, co-owner of Perk Up coffee shop located at the Geneva train station.

Snider was headed for Chicago on the first train out to his other job in finance.

“Most of the 20-somethings have not experienced cold weather like the rest of us have,” Snider said.

Steven Rozanski, of Geneva, said he got up early to warm up his car and put on extra layers of clothes to get to his work as an information technology specialist in Chicago.

“This isn’t much different from growing up in Wisconsin and walking to school in the cold,” Rozanski said.

John Bibber, of Batavia, is a chemist for a company that specializes in corrosion resistant coatings, but had no chemical formula to describe the finger-tingling weather. “It is cold, not much else,” Bibber said.

Scott Tratson, of Wisconsin, stopped at an Aurora gas station to fuel his 10-wheeler semi loaded with five tons of drywall and insulation headed for stops in Lake Bluff and Chicago.

“I would rather be at home,” Tratson said.

The driver had goggles to protect his face and six layers of clothes to keep warm while on the road.

“I have gotten frostbite before, so I know better,” Tratson said.

Loretta Hull, of Aurora, had a skip in her step as she crossed the Downer Place Bridge in downtown Aurora, prepared both physically and mentally for a cold morning on her way to work.

“I have got to get to work,” Hull said.

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