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Officials offer cold weather tips
Dangerous wind chills to persist into Friday
1B snow trees
... but by Friday night the snow had stuck to trees ... - photo by Photo by Jannan Roesch

MONROE – Dangerously cold weather and deadly wind chills will persist until Friday. Gusty winds will cause blowing and drifting snow into Wednesday will make travel conditions treacherous. Tuesday night through Wednesday night will be the coldest period. Daytime highs on Wednesday will be around 15 degrees below zero. Overnight lows are forecasted to be 23 to 32 degrees below zero. A westerly wind of 5 to 15 mph will produce minimum wind chills of 40 to 50 degrees below zero. Frostbite during these extreme low temperatures can occur in as little as five minutes.

Jeff Skatrud, Green County Sheriff, RoAnn Warden, Green County Public Health Director and Tanna McKeon, Green County Emergency Management director are advising everyone to be well prepared for this extremely cold weather. In addition to this, they are asking that residents take time to check on neighbors, friends and the elderly to see if they are OK. 

McKeon reminds everyone to have emergency supplies and food and to avoid traveling during this time. Furnaces will be running longer and be sure you have enough heating oil or propane and schedule a delivery before you run low.  If you can’t remember the last time you checked your smoke and carbon monoxide testers you should change the batteries. Make sure water pipes in unheated areas are properly insulated. If you have faucets served by exposed pipes, let water drip from them or run at a slow trickle to prevent freezing. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow heat to get to the pipes. Do not attempt to use gasoline or propane heaters or a grill to heat your home or garage. Those devices produce carbon monoxide, which could be deadly in enclosed areas.

If your furnace should quit working and you need to find another place to stay, we encourage you to contact a family member or friends that you can stay with or get a hotel room. These are the most comfortable and safest places for you to stay. Municipal buildings, such as libraries and administration offices may be available during working hours. We have already seen other counties and municipalities closing municipal buildings so always call ahead to make sure they are open. If you have no other resources or know or see someone who is homeless or living in car, contact your local police department or the Green County Sheriff’s office. 

If you must travel keep the gas tank at least half-full. Pack an emergency kit with items such as food, water, extra blankets and warm clothing, booster cables and a cell phone charger. Always make sure someone knows where you are traveling.

Warden also advises people to be extra careful during this time to prevent exposure to the cold and know how to detect the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia.

Time outdoors should be limited. Those who must be outside should dress for the weather. Wear loose-fitting layers, a hat, gloves and snow boots. Make sure you have a scarf or some other way to cover your face.

Know the signs of hypothermia, which include excessive shivering, exhaustion, confusion and slurred speech. If you or anyone around you begins to show symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Know the signs of frostbite, which include a white or grayish-yellow skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness. If you detect symptoms, get to a warm area. Do not try to rub them, as it can cause more damage. 

Those with pets should limit their time outdoors. Dogs and cats can get frost-bitten ears, nose and feet if left outside during bitter cold weather. For livestock, make sure they have access to extra food and a water source that will not freeze. Outdoor animals need access to a dry place to seek shelter. Help provide a windbreak for larger animals and an enclosed space for smaller animals to help them retain their body heat.