Warming trend brings relief

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

reporter@monett-times.com

After several days of single-digit temperatures, area residents will likely welcome a slight warming trend beginning Wednesday and continuing through the weekend.

Many Barry County residents hunkered down during the coldest part of the weekend, when temperatures dropped into the negative numbers for three consecutive nights.

"With sub-zero temperatures and patchy roads, that was the best move to take," said David Compton, emergency management director for Barry County. "Anyone getting stranded in a ditch for a long period of time would likely have suffered frostbite or hypothermia."

Missouri Department of Transportation crews were out during the snowstorm, spreading abrasives on hills, curves and intersections. Extreme cold temperatures and blowing snow created additional challenges for road crews trying to clear the most heavily-traveled roads. According to the MoDOT website, crews will begin work on secondary roadways once temperatures moderate. More information can be found at modot.org/southwest.

Residents who are required to travel during inclement weather are urged to have an emergency kit for their vehicle within reach. Recommended items for the kit include:

* A flashlight with extra batteries

* A first-aid kit

* Necessary medications

* Blankets and/or sleeping bags

* Extra mittens or gloves, socks, a warm cap and rain gear

* A small sack of sand to use for traction under your wheels

* A small shovel

* Booster cables

* Small tools - pliers, wrench, screwdriver

* A brightly colored cloth to use as a flag

* Nonperishable foods

* Bottled water

With temperatures only expected to reach the upper 20s to low 40s by the weekend, are residents should bear in mind and take precautions against additional inclement weather and sub-zero wind chill factors.

"Officials with the National Weather Service are predicting rain as the weekend nears," Compton said. "At home, residents should make sure to keep water running at a slight trickle to avoid frozen pipes. Supplemental heaters should be kept well away from bedding, curtains and other flammable materials.

"As a winter-time precaution, people should have at least one gallon of water per person per day to last at least 72 hours in the event of a power outage," Compton continued. "They should also have non-perishable food items in the event they have to shelter at home for several days.

"Above all, if people have to travel, we urge them to use extra caution on roadways that may become ice and snow-covered," Compton said, "and make allowances for the extra time it will take to drive to their destination."

For additional information on winter storm survival, visit http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.

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