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January 6, 2010 / Dave Gorham

Record Breaking Cold and Precautions

The first round of frigid temperatures moved in to the Dakotas and down to Florida this past weekend, breaking weather records in the upper Midwest, the Great Lakes and New England. International Falls, Minnesota bottomed out at 37 below zero, breaking records that have stood since 1979. Sioux Falls, South Dakota was 30 below, the coldest temperature recorded since 1974.

 

Temperatures this week have warmed up slightly but another cold air mass is now moving into the Central and Eastern U.S. that is likely COLDER than the previous one. Many locations, especially in the South, will see the coldest temperatures in recent memory. Temperatures are expected to be below freezing for more than 2 days.

 

You’ve probably heard this several times before but if possible before the bitterly cold temperatures get to you, remember the 4 P’s. People, pets, plants and pipes.  Bring the pets indoors if possible. If pets must stay outdoors, provide an enclosed shelter with the entrance facing away from the wind with blankets or hay and set out extra food.

 

Outside, make sure your plants or flower beds are covered with cloth. Bring the potted plants inside. For your pipes, wrap exterior faucets and water pipes with insulating material or newspapers covered with cloth. Make sure the exterior water hose is disconnected. Let a faucet drip to relieve pressure that may build between a faucet and possible ice blockage in the water pipe.

 

Cold weather can be risky for people, especially seniors. In Nashville, the cold has already taken the life of an 81-year-old man who wandered out into the cold and froze to death. Dress appropriately for the weather. Plano, Texas schools are encouraging parents to make sure their children are wearing warm clothes, especially if they are riding their bikes or taking the bus to school.

 

These are just a few tips to keep you and your family safe and warm during this Arctic Blast. A little bit of good news temperatures look to start warming up Monday.

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