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Clipper chills county

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By John Friedlein

Frigid weather tips from the American Red Cross Protect yourself: ·         Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, which will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. ·         Mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves. Wear a hat, preferably one that covers your ears. ·         Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow. ·         Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated. ·         Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. ·         Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of frostbite including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.   Protect yourself at home: ·         Be careful with candles – do not use candles for lighting if the power goes out. Use flashlights only. ·         Inspect fireplaces and wood stoves yearly — use a sturdy fire screen with lit fires. Burn only wood — never burn paper or pine boughs. ·         Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside your home, including the basement or garage. Do not hook up a generator directly to your home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. ·         Prevent frozen pipes — when the weather is very cold outside, open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around water pipes. Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe — even at a trickle — helps prevent pipes from freezing because the temperature of the water running through it is above freezing. Keep the thermostat set to a consistent temperature. ·         Check smoke alarms once a month by pressing the test button and replace batteries as necessary. ·         Don’t overload your electrical outlets. ·         If you plan to use an alternate heating source, never use a stove or oven to heat your home.  Keep a glass or metal fire screen around the fireplace and never leave a fireplace fire unattended.  If using a space heater, follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.  Place it on a level, hard, nonflammable surface. Turn the space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep.  Keep children and pets away from your space heater and do not use it to dry wet clothing.  

By JOHN FRIEDLEIN

jfriedlein@thenewsenterprise.com

HARDIN COUNTY — An Alberta clipper has sailed into the area, ushering in the most frigid air of the season.

The National Weather Service predicted a high of 18 degrees today and an overnight low of 1. The high temperature for Friday is expected to be 19 with a low of 13.

 “When people go to the mailbox (this) morning, they’re going to feel it,” said Mark Adams, lead forecaster for the Fort Knox weather station.

Wind, along with the low temperatures, will make it feel like it’s below zero — possibly into the negative teens this morning.

“It’s like a double whammy,” Adams said.

Winds will be out of the northwest at 10 to 15 mph, NWS predicted.

These relatively dry weather systems get their nickname from how fast they move, like a clipper ship. Also, Alberta is a semiarid area of Canada.

Clippers are fairly common this time of year; sometimes two or three push through in a row, Adams said.

While cold, today’s low probably won’t break the record of 10 below zero set in 1977. January’s average high is 40, and the low is 26.

Some light snow was expected to fall Wednesday night, with possibly a half-inch accumulating on the grass in some areas, according to the NWS.

This shot of frigid air will wear off, though.

“We should rebound by the weekend,” Adams said.

Lows on Saturday and Sunday are expected to be in the 20s with highs in the 30s, according to the NWS.

Until then, local residents should take extra precautions.

Nate Huggins, director of support services for Elizabethtown Independent Schools, said bus drivers told riders Wednesday to bundle up today because it’s going to be colder.

Plus, he said some parents wait at bus stops with children inside idling vehicles. And students who live close to stops can await buses inside doorways. He recommended turning on the porch light.

As for pets, Michelle Ray, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Humane Society, urged owners not to leave animals out in the cold. And if owners suspect frostbite or hypothermia, they should consult a veterinarian.

If pets must remain outside, Ray said to keep them in a draft-free enclosure that is small enough to retain body heat but large enough for them to turn around in.

But when temperatures are in the zero-degree range or colder, definitely bring pets inside, Ray said.

John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746.