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Surviving the Winter Storm

After snow and below zero temperatures over the past few days, we're finally in warmer double digits. But how did people fare in keeping themselves safe from the storm?
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- With the freezing temperatures and snow, came challenges.

"Mostly people are calling because of frozen pipes," said plumber Scott Sale.

Sale has been working an extra four hours every day for the past few days to accommodate to the increase in calls.

"The last couple of days, I've been on 15 or 20 calls-- normally they run about eight," Sale said. "So that's quite a lot."

But frozen pipes weren't the only worry.  The Springfield Police Department reported 48 traffic accidents were reported over the span of Sunday through Tuesday afternoon, most of which were caused by packed snow on roads.

And the challenges didn't end on the frigid highways. The freezing cold temperatures led to a significant number of weather-related illnesses. Mercy Hospital reported five weather-related incidents-- a mix of cases of hypothermia, frostbite, and cold-related viruses. Meanwhile, Cox Hospital reported a total of two cases of hypothermia and 11 falls due to ice and snow.

"I think most of the cases were due to exposure from being out in the snow and icy conditions," said Dr. Jason Carter, an emergency doctor at Mercy Hospital. Dr. Carter said that the best advice for people to avoid weather-related illnesses is to avoid the weather, altogether.

"Number one, avoid exposure," said Dr. Carter. "Truly, being out in conditions when no you have no business being in them, is going to be a risk-factor."

But even with the challenges posed by the freezing temperatures, the Springfield police department says the public has been responsive to their warnings to stay indoors... And plumbers, like sale, also believe that people have done their part.

"Compared to the population and the calls we've been on, I'd say most of them have prepared pretty well," said Sale.

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