- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Iowa and Nebraska have joined other Midwest and Plains states in returning to the subzero chill of winter.

The National Weather Service issued warnings or advisories Monday for both states, telling people to watch out for wind chills that could reach minus 40 degrees in some areas.

Derek Bird, 21, lives in Omaha and works at a 24-hour drugstore. He said Monday morning that he’s taken to wearing hats this winter to protect himself from “the most bizarre weather that I’ve seen.”

He’s tired of the winter already, Bird said. So is his co-worker Amy Henry, 36. “I just look at my (apartment) pool every day and say, ‘Oh, come on, summer,’” Henry said.

Few people ventured out into the cold to visit a northwest Omaha bakery and coffee shop. Only a handful of people were inside Panera Bread when Bruce Billesbach made his regular stop around 8:30 a.m.

“I keep saying every year this will be my last winter here, but here I am,” said the 52-year-old hedge fund manager, who remains because he has family nearby.

Billesbach intends to shorten his dog’s walk later Monday, he said.

The bitterly cold weather has been good for business at the Batteries Plus store in northwest Omaha, where employee Scott Miller, 33, said “it’s been hard to keep stock in car batteries.”

“It’s so bad,” Miller said just before the phone rang with an inquiry about a car battery.

Miller grew up in Omaha and recalls occasionally getting out of school for low temperatures, but until the cold snap a couple weeks ago that hadn’t happened in some time.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had these deep wind chills,” Miller said.

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