While temperatures will rise this week and the worst is behind us, the weather will still be cold, experts say. Colder weather brings dangers in the form of frostbite, fires and mishaps due to icy surfaces, said Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn.
The wind chill today after a night as low as 18 degrees could pose a danger of frostbite. Wynn suggests wearing gloves, layered clothing and a hat." Up to 40 percent of the body's heat is lost through the head," he said.
Over the past weekend and Monday night, winds made icy temperatures feel worse than they were, freezing water pipes, and making being outdoors a challenge. While temperatures will rise, it will still be cold, and Wynn warns people to bring in pets and plants and check on people who live alone.
Making sure space heaters and fireplaces are not left unattended is wise, he said, noting the high number of house fires that have occurred in Bulloch County recently. While none yet have been attributed to heaters, space and gas heaters are often the culprit when homes catch fire.
Wynn also reminded citizens to drip pipes in freezing weather.
The high winds that accompanied the freezing temps over the weekend caused no problems, except for a higher than normal number of alarms being set off, he said.
Frank Alsheimer, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, said temperatures will rise into the mid to high 60's by Friday, but along with that comes rain. A 50 percent chance of showers Friday will turn into a 60 percent chance of precipitation Saturday, but the highs will not dip as low as they did last week. Saturday through Monday the highs should be in the 50's, but the lows will dip into the 20's Sunday. The rain should be gone by then, however, with sunny but cool temperatures bringing us into the next week, he said.
The National Weather Service website (www.noaa.gov) said the weather from the previous weekend through Tuesday night were "the coldest temperatures since January 2003" for the area.
K. Lynn Bowen, executive director of the American Red Cross Bulloch County Chapter, said no one in the area has contacted the agency for assistance in heating or shelter during the frigid weather. There have been emergency plans in the past when the weather dipped into dangerous conditions, but even then, no one took advantage of the option, she said.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 912-489-9414.