Yakima coping with bitter cold temperatures

Yakima coping with bitter cold temperatures »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- To say it's cold outside is one heck of an understatement.

"It's cold! I'm glad I have my earmuffs," said Darlene Frye.

Temperatures around Yakima turned water into ice. At the Yakima Airport, heaters ran all night inside the planes to keep the cockpit instruments warm and working. As for cars, mechanics were busy switching out dead batteries. Neighbor Bill True couldn't get his engine running.

"My engine in my body barely started this morning in the cold. Anyway, we're getting her all fired up, so we'll be good for a few more years now."

This brutal cold spell is also an example of bad timing with three lighted parades scheduled for the weekend. All three are still a go. Organizers for Sunday's parade in Yakima don't see it as a reason to change plans.

"I think if you had a blizzard and we were going to have two feet of snow, then we might consider canceling it or something," said Joe Mann. "But, a Christmas parade, usually the weather is cooler."

If you're wondering just how cold it is in Yakima, weather.com says it''s 24 degrees. What it feels like: 15.

Despite the freezing conditions, KIMA spotted some kids playing outside an elementary school. School districts generally leave it up to principals to decide whether to keep kids inside during recess. Indoor activity is suggested when it's 15 to 20 degrees.

So, how do you beat the cold?

"The first thing I would recommend is to understand that cotton kills," cautions Yakima pediatrician, Dr. Steve Gottleib. "You don't want to be wearing cotton thermal underwear or cotton clothing or t-shirts when it's cold outside. You want a base layer that's made of polyester or polyester blend."

The right clothes and plenty of courage.

(Temperatures are expected to stay below freezing through the weekend. Be sure to check in with kimatv.com for the latest information.)