Winter Weather in Central Iowa has Experts Advising You to Stay Indoors

DES MOINES, Iowa - Some people are determined to make the most of it.

"Well, I'm only here for a few days, I haven't seen her in a long time," said Taylor Moss, who is from Maryland and visiting his girlfriend in Des Moines this weekend. "We're doing a long distance relationship. And I've always been promised that I would go ice-skating, and I've never been taken ice-skating, so here we are skating in the middle of Des Moines, Iowa."

The two were the only ones enjoying Brenton Skating Plaza in downtown Des Moines Saturday evening; but experts say this winter weather - which is set to put wind chills into the -20s and beyond - is anything but fun and games.

"Limit your time outside as much as possible," said Dr. Clint Hawthorne of Iowa Lutheran Hospital. "If you have something that you're going to go and do, plan on being out for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, then just going right back in, warming up."

He says the elderly and children are the most at risk, too.

"If they could just not go outside, that's to their benefit," he said. "If you have an elderly neighbor, it's good to check on them."

Hawthorne also notes the hospital emergency room is already seeing some patients from slip-and-fall accidents. And another group - the homeless - are in particular danger this weekend.

"It's a really difficult spot, mainly, because we're struggling to find jobs, schooling, and housing," said Ian Minnahan, a homeless youth taking advantage of the warm interior of the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers newest downtown location. "It's a lifesaver mainly because, without this, we wouldn't really have a place to go, or stay warm"

With warmer weather on the horizon for Monday, the expert advice is simple: avoid the outdoors Sunday if at all possible.