2018-01-11 / Front Page

Recent freezing temperatures serve to remind residents to use caution


Temperatures dipped into the low teens last week, as recorded by several of the temperature markers around town. The First Assembly of God marker gaged a frigid 12 degrees in the early morning last Thursday. Temperatures dipped into the low teens last week, as recorded by several of the temperature markers around town. The First Assembly of God marker gaged a frigid 12 degrees in the early morning last Thursday. Regardless of temperatures ris­ing into the high 50s and 60s this week, last week’s dip into freezing temperatures serves as a reminder that winter weather is now upon us, meaning that freezing rain and ice storms could result – just as in past years – causing road blocks due to fallen trees and branches, and power outages for hours or even days at a time.

The National Weather Service (NWS) released several warnings for the Lincoln County area as temperatures fell into the low teens around the turn of the new year.

The reports issued alerted to a “‘Hazardous Weather Outlook’ for the midlands of South Carolina and the Central Savannah River Area of Georgia,” predicting that a cold airmass would persist with wind chill values ranging between five and 15 degrees.


Ice was found in all sorts of nooks and crannies last week due to the freezing temperatures that overtook Lincoln County. Enduring frozen mud holes, icicles hanging off of cars and buildings, morning frosts, and all around freezing temperatures, the community at large seems happy that warmer weather is headed our way. Ice was found in all sorts of nooks and crannies last week due to the freezing temperatures that overtook Lincoln County. Enduring frozen mud holes, icicles hanging off of cars and buildings, morning frosts, and all around freezing temperatures, the community at large seems happy that warmer weather is headed our way. The remainder of last week was reported as being bitterly cold, with wind chill values dipping below 10 degrees at night.

As the winter season progresses, organizations such as the NWS, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency

GEMHSA), the North Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), along with others, have issued countless safety tips in prepa­ration for severe or adverse weather conditions.

According to GEMHSA, “winter storms often bring dangerously low temperatures, strong winds, snow, ice, sleet, and freezing rain. With temperatures currently near freez­ing, and dipping into single digits at night, it’s important to take steps to protect your property and health.


Even ponds around the county had an icy layer glazed over the top. The ice on this pond off of Highway 43 shimmered in the chilled morning air last Friday. Even ponds around the county had an icy layer glazed over the top. The ice on this pond off of Highway 43 shimmered in the chilled morning air last Friday. Protect the three Ps: people, pets and plants.”

The agency’s suggestions are as follows: l Wear layers of clothing. l Wear gloves, mittens, and hats; cover your mouth with a scarf. l Ensure children are properly dressed, especially as they wait for the school bus. l Bring pets indoors. Animals are susceptible to frostbite and hy­pothermia. l Bring potted plants indoors. Cover outdoor plants with cloth, burlap, or plastic at night to prevent roots from freezing. l Have a backup for your electri­cal power as freezing temperatures create a heavy demand for electric­ity. If you use a generator, be sure to use it outdoors in a well-ventilated area. l Allow indoor plumbing fixtures to drip; this prevents freezing by permitting water to trickle through the pipes. l Keep your vehicle’s gas tank and antifreeze full to prevent ice from forming in the tank and fuel lines.

The agency likewise suggests that preparation before inclement weather is also wise, and promotes that several steps should be taken to prevent future harm.

GEMHSA believes that families should always have a communica­tion plan, so that members will know where to meet, and how to respond in the face of danger.

“Self-ready” kits, which allow for a minimum of three days of self- sufficiency, are also suggested.

“Keep space heater safety in mind: use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes,” officials stated.

In preparing the home, GEMHSA suggests insulating with weather stripping around doors and window sills to keep warm air inside, as well as securing a functioning carbon monoxide detector if possible.

“If you have a wood burning fire­place, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year,” the agency reported. “Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out, which include extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats. Fireplaces or wood burning stoves should be stocked with plenty of dry firewood if pos­sible.”

During wintertime weather, GEMHSA lists several other safety precautions to take into consider­ations, which are: l Check on elderly/disabled rela­tives and neighbors. l Keep in mind that during a se­vere winter storm it could be hours, or even days depending on the area, before emergency personnel are able to reach you. lAllow faucets to drip a little dur­ing cold weather to avoid freezing. l Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls. l Winter storms are often accom­panied by power outages. Always exercise caution when using alterna­tive light and heating sources: Use flashlights during power outages instead of candles to prevent the risk of fire, and have plenty of extra batteries on hand. l Never use an oven to heat your home. Never bring portable gen­erators, camp stoves, and grills into your home; they should only be used outside. Keep them at least 20 feet away from your home’s windows, doors, and vents to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. l Watch for frostbite. Warning signs include white or grayish- yellow skin, numbness and skin that feels unusually firm or waxy. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately. If medical help is not available, get the victim to a warm location and immerse the af­fected area in warm water. Frostbit­ten areas are numb and can be easily burned so avoid using heating pads, fireplaces or radiators for warming. Do not rub the frostbitten area; this could cause more damage. l Watch for signs of hypothermia, including shivering, memory loss, fumbling hands, slurred speech and drowsiness. If the victim’s body temperature is below 95 degrees, seek medical help immediately. If medical help is not available, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first using an electric blanket and if conscious, give the victim warm, non-alcoholic beverages.

The Centers for Disease Control have also outlined a plethora of suggestions to stay warm during the winter weather, which help in preventing certain cold-related illnesses, ailments, accidents, and the like.

“Follow directions from local offi­cials about driving during snow and ice storms, and drive with caution,” the CDC reported.

It also urges that the public wear hats, scarves, or knit masks to cover face and mouth, sleeves that are snug at the wrist, mittens (they are warmer than gloves), water-resistant coats and shoes, and several layers of loose-fitting clothing to retain heat when outside or in the incident of power outages.

“Be sure the outer layer of your clothing is tightly woven, preferably wind resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind. Wool, silk, or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton. Stay dry – wet cloth­ing chills the body rapidly. Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm,” of­ficials stated. “Also, avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while de-icing and fueling your car or using a snow blower. These mate­rials in contact with the skin greatly increase heat loss from the body.”

The CDC also reminds that shiv­ering when cold is of the utmost importance, and to not ignore it, as it is a first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.

In the case of a national, state- wide, or regional emergency, the NOAA weather radio station pro­vides updates, winter weather watches, and warnings, and may be accessed at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/.

The public can also monitor com­mercial radio, television and the internet, along with downloading the “Ready Georgia”.app..for.emer­gencies, .courtesy of GEMHSA, at http://ready.ga.gov.

Of course, Lincoln County offers emergency alerts, updates, and other urgent messages including danger­ous or concerning weather warnings via it’s CodeRED emergency alert­ing system.

Those interested may sign up for the alert system by visiting www.lcgagov.org, selecting the ‘Emer­gency Alerting’ tab, and following the instructions listed.

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