Predictions For Extreme Cold This Weekend Have Officials Reminding Residents To Take Necessary Precautions

Thu 12-28-2017

            (Spirit Lake)-- Some of the coldest air of the season is expected to affect the region over the upcoming weekend. Forecasters say overnight lows will likely approach and may even exceed 20 degrees below zero Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with daytime high temperatures remaining well below zero. Dickinson County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Ehret says there are several things we need to think about when it gets that cold, especially with wind chills that could approach 40 below...Extreme Cold01 

            "When wind chills are getting that cold you're looking at a potential for frostbite in 10 minutes or less on exposed skin, so I guess the best advice for anybody over the weekend is to stay indoors if you can. I know that's going to be tough, it's New Year's Eve weekend, a lot of people will want to be out and about. I guess, you know, the best advice I can tell people is that if you've got to be out and about, dress in layers, make sure you cover all exposed skin and try to limit your time outdoors."

Ehret says those who DO travel should be sure to have a winter survival kit with them in their vehicle, along with a fully-charged cell phone. And with snow in the forecast tomorrow (Fri.), Ehret says road conditions could become a factor...Extreme Cold02 

"The chemicals they use on these roads to get rid of the ice and so forth aren't going to work real well when it gets as cold as it's forecast to."

Ehret says there are several things to keep an eye on at home, too. He recommends letting the water run about the width of a pencil lead if your pipes are prone to freezing. Ehret says caution should be exercised in using heat tape on pipes. And he he says if you're using space heaters to help keep your house warm, to make sure they're in good working order and not to plug them into extension cords...Extreme Cold03 

"The last thing we want to see during a cold snap like this is a fire. We don't ever want to see a fire, but fighting fires when it's that cold out is just tough on people and equipment and everything, so anything anybody can do to prevent fires, especially when it's that cold, is appreciated."

Officials say you should also pay close attention to pets during the extreme cold. Try to keep them indoors if possible.