I don’t think we need to write too much about how cold it’s been in the Midwest (and most of the country) the last week. Chicago has earned a couple of telling nicknames, including “Chilaska” and “Chiberia,” and Facebook feeds are filled with pics of broken thermometers, screenshots of Weather.com readings and videos of boiling water instantly turning into snow. It’s quite COLD. After the potentially record-breaking weather estimates were made last week, the Abt family decided it best to ground the delivery and service fleets and reschedule all appointments to dates when the weather would be a bit more humane.
Although the Chicago “SnowPocalypse” Blizzard of 2011 shut our entire store down for a day, that was due to snow drifts that made nearly all traveling impossible. Today was the first time in our 78 years in business that we’ve cancelled an entire day of deliveries due solely to outside temperatures. While the primary concern was the safety of our team-members, there other practical reasons as well. The extreme temperature fluctuations that products would encounter moving from our store to the delivery truck and back to a customer’s home can cause serious damage. Glass screens on laptops and televisions can shatter, water remaining in the plumbing of a dishwasher (from factory testing) can freeze and burst the line, and condensation that forms inside sensitive electronics can cause damage that won’t immediately be apparent. And on top of all of these reasons, it was more than likely that a fleet of dozens of diesel delivery trucks would face some starting issues at -15°. So we decided it best to wave the white flag, and let everyone stay home keep warm. Well, everyone except the Twitter/blog guy. His job is never done, braving deadly weather to capture a behind-the-scenes look at a historic day for Abt Electronics. Check out more photos after the break.