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Winter weather on the way

Pike County just survived some severe thunderstorms and a cold front moving in this weekend could also pose some potential risks in the area.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a low of 30 degrees for Friday and it shows temps could get down to 24 degrees on Saturday.

Pike County EMA director Jeanna Barnes said that the area isn’t currently forecasted to have any extreme winter weather, but it will be cold enough that residents need to keep some safety tips in mind.

“Regardless of whether we have any winter precipitation (snow, sleet, freezing rain), our temps will fall near or below freezing,” Barnes said.

Barnes broke down her winter tips into the “Four Ps”: people, pets, pipes and plants.

“We want to check on our elderly neighbors, family, etc.,” Barnes said. Elderly persons, children, and those people in poor health are more susceptible to colder weather. You should also make sure pets have a warm place to stay and sleep and  provide plenty of food and water.”

“It’s important to check your pipes and cover ones that are exposed to the elements and let faucets drip to keep them from freezing. You should also bring in any plants or cover them to protect them from the freezing temps.”

One of the key dangers with this cold spell is the possibility of icy roads and bridges, Barnes said.

“Any rain that falls Friday and Saturday will be at risk for freezing once our temps get close to the 32 degree mark,” Barnes said. “It’s important to remember that bridges will freeze before roads due to the cold air flow beneath them. Be extremely cautious when driving and give yourself plenty of distance from other vehicles.“

Although the forecast for Pike County doesn’t currently include winter precipitation, Barnes said it’s important to stay up to date on rapidly changing forecasts, as things can change almost hourly.

“It’s often joked about how the south will shut down with less than an inch of snow while places like Chicago are going to work in 5 feet of snow,” Barnes said. “Forecasting winter weather is an entirely different beast in the south than it is for our northern friends. A small change in the forecast can have a huge significance in its impacts.

“As of 3:00pm on Wed, we are not forecast to have any major winter weather impacts, but could very well be close to the transition line from rain/sleet/snow.  That little bit of difference could take us from a cold rain to some significant road conditions very quickly. So check for updates and check often.”

Barnes said that the Pike County EMA will be updating their Facebook and Twitter pages regularly before, during and after the weather event. They will report any school closings, road closings or other hazards reported to them by officials. The EMA Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/PikeCoEMA/.

The National Weather Service also provides these cold-weather tips:

• Make sure your home is well insulated.

• Check battery-powered equipment and stock extra batteries for a flashlight and portable televisions or radios.

• Keep some type of emergency heating equipment available so at least one room in the house is warm enough to be livable.

• Stock an emergency supply of food and water.