ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The wind chill is expected to be well below zero overnight, but this winter, that’s not even rare anymore.
On Wednesday afternoon, water along Clayton Road in Richmond Heights was shut off as crews worked to prepare a nearby water main break. And that’s just one of the inconveniences St. Louisans have been facing this winter.
Quincy Mack works outside, pushing carts at a local grocery store. For him, and many others who spend their days out in the elements, this frigid winter has been brutal. “It’s horrible,” he says, “it really gets to you. The carts get cold, your hands get cold, it’s just not good, not good.”
But the cold isn’t just physically tough to handle. The snow and dreary skies, combined with shorter days this time of year, can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Nikki Yankee explains, “The most common theory is that there are differences in circadian rhythms in people, so serotonin, melatonin have kind of become off-balance with less sunlight.”
With all the snow and cold weather, Yankee says some patients have been feeling worse this year. Light box therapy and planning fun outdoor activities are just two ways to help alleviate symptoms.
There are other types of winter-induced depression, like entire homes being damaged from burst pipes, soaking everything from carpets and wood floors to ceilings. Jay Barroll with Henry Plumbing explains, “Millions of dollars’ worth of damage. The water does tremendous damage. All the carpeting is shot, the flooring is shot, people who put down hardwood floors, it’s all buckled. It is a giant, giant mess.”
But there is a solution: replacing copper piping with PEX plastic. “It’s used in lots of new homes, and so it can freeze, but it’ll never burst. It may get a blockage in it, but at least it won’t spring a leak and damage your house,” says Barroll.
If you’re suffering from any of these winter woes, unfortunately, the end isn’t in sight quite yet. FOX 2 Chief Meteorologist Dave Murray says this February could be just as bad as January, if not worse.