The National Weather Service update today focused on the extreme cold temperatures and wind chill issues that will be impacting our area over the next 48 hours. Beginning this afternoon, cold temperatures, coupled with winds in the 15-20 mph range (gusts up to 25), wind chill readings could be as low as -50 degrees. These conditions will remain through tonight and into tomorrow. The Wind Chill Warning effective 4 p.m. today extends to 3 p.m. tomorrow. Temperatures in some areas of Pocahontas Co may dip to -23 tonight, highs tomorrow will not likely be above zero throughout the county.
As of now, no local emergency shelters have been activated. However, all are on standby should the need arise for them to open up. Obviously, weather conditions and other factors (i.e. widespread power outages) will affect such decisions. We will make announcements about shelter openings as needed. Residents are encouraged to locate possible shelter with friends or family who may have backup power and heat sources, should the need arise. Also, drawing some quantity of water for drinking purposes now would be a good idea, should pipes freeze.
Obviously, when dealing with such extreme frigid conditions, certain common sense precautions need to be taken. If you don’t have to be out…stay at home. If you do, limit areas of exposed skin and time spent outside. Dress in layers and have emergency supplies (i.e. blankets, water, flashlight, radio, etc.) with you in your vehicle should the need arise. Most importantly, check on those who might be living alone and see if they have any needs, and by all means, do not forget about your pets that are outside, as they need to be taken care of, as well.