Winter Storm Update Jan. 29 9:30 A.M. EST
Thirty-six governors have officially declared a State of Emergency due to two things: an arctic blast slamming the Midwest down through Gulf states up the east coast, and America’s addiction to fossil fuels. Millions are stranded at home without heat.
With no end in sight until warmer weather arrives in the mid-west, President Barack Obama has been called on to “act” in today’s crisis that has left millions of Americans cold Wednesday.
Thousands of southerners awakened to no heat after a brutal winter storm began slamming the Deep South yesterday. Frozen tree branches fell on power lines. Hundreds of thousands were stranded on highways.
The storm has left at least seven people dead in the Gulf region alone. Gulf coast officials warn that tonight will be as tough on residents. They continue telling peope to stay off the roads.
Meanwhile, many Americans are bundled at home with no heat.
Officials warn Deep South residents stay clear of all power lines
Power outages have been reported in southern areas, scattered across the greater New Orleans area, but most reports are from South Carolina. Officials are advising residents throughout Leon’s path to take a series of precuations to prevent blackouts and to survive them. (See earlier Update below.)
Officials are concerned about safety issues related to downed lines or lines with tree branches on them.
Do not remove branches yourself or go anywhere near them, officials are strongly warning Tuesday evening.
Louisiana’s Entergy Corp. says the following tips will help individuals in the path of Winter Storm Leon
- Live wires can be deadly. Stay away from downed power lines. Call 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243) to report downed or dangling power lines, poles or other damaged equipment.
- Don’t trim trees or remove debris on or near downed power lines. Only power company crews or their contractors should remove trees or limbs touching power lines.
- Keep away from the immediate areas where crews are working. There is always the danger of moving equipment and the possibility of construction materials or limbs or overhead wires falling to the ground.
- If planning to use a generator for temporary power, get a licensed electrician and disconnect from the utility electric system before hooking up to your home main electric panel.
- Do not run a generator in a confined space without adequate ventilation.
- Make sure to review gas safety tips.
- Do not use candles or other flammable devices to warm your home.
- Check on seniors, who can be particularly susceptible to extreme temperatures.
- Try to stay off the roads. More traffic in bad weather leads to more accidents, including more injuries and fatalities as well as accidents that can damage electrical poles and other equipment, creating outages and impeding crews’ ability to access and repair damage and slowing restoration.
“Scattered outages have mainly affected customers in the central Louisiana portion of Cleco’s service territory, where snow and sleet covered many of the roads and bridges throughout Tuesday,” NOLA reports.
Cleco, that serves around 283,000 customer in Louisiana, including all of St. Tammany Parish, has warned customers that the storm could cause power outages as sleet and snow accumulates on tree limbs hanging near power lines and on the lines themselves.
The next six to seven hours will be the strongest test. If limbs and lines do come down, with road closures, it will be difficult for Cleco to restore the power lines.
“Our biggest concern is road closures due to bad road conditions on bridges, overpasses,” said Cleco spokesperson Robynn Cooper.
Contact the electric companies in the greater New Orleans area if the powere goes out:
- Washington St. Tammany Electric:http://ebill.wste.coop/oms/outageMap Report all outages to 1-866-672-9773.
- Cleco: view outages- https://www.cleco.com/current-outage-map Call 1-800-622-6537 to report an outage.
- Entergy: view outages-http://www.entergy.com/storm_center/outages.aspx Report outages- 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
South Carolina Outages
Over 2000 people in South Carolina’s Lowcountry are without power in bitter cold temperatures. SCE&G reports the following, according to ABC News:
- About 50 people are without power in North Charleston off of Rivers Avenue. The estimated restoration time is 11:30 p.m.
- About 77 people are without power in Charleston off of the King Street Extension. The estimated restoration time is 11:30 p.m.
- About 185 people don’t have power in Charleston around Royal Avenue and Center Street.
- About 60 people are without power on Midvale Drive on James Island. The estimated restoration time is 12 a.m. on Wednesday.
- As of 10 p.m., 185 reported outages were on Isle of Palms
- Several outages are on James Island, mostly on Fort Johnson and Roads and Riverland Drive.
- Summerville has outages along Ashley River Road near Delemar Highway and on Orangeburg Road near Central Avenue.
- About 86 people are without power on James Island off of Howle Avenue.
- About 70 people on the Isle of Palms are without power off of Palm Boulevard from 48th Avenue to 55th Avenue.
About 1,350 people are without power in the Berkeley Electric Cooperative Customers network.
About 800 people are without power along Highway 17 between SC 41 and Awendaw.
A spokesperson for the cooperative said power outages are due to trees hitting power lines. The spokesperson said crews will work until all power is restored. Report an outage by calling 1-888-253-4232.
Stay off the roads
Meanwhile, Atlanta is in chaos as traffic is backed up for miles and people cannot get home.
Officials continue to advise motorists to stay off of the roads to reduce accidents and extra hardships for others.
Ice blankets a major northwest Charlotte road where some drivers have been stranded there for over four hours.
Winter weather has caused 109 wrecks in Charlotte alone, officials said. People are being rushed to hospitals after cars slide and crash.
One of the worst spots Channel 9 crews saw was in northwest Charlotte, on Mount Holly- Huntersville Road and Bellhaven Boulevard. A line of cars stretched all the way down Mount Holly-Huntersville Road and police blocked it due to so many vehicles that had spun out, including a CATS bus.
Baton Rouge and New Orleans are shut off, with exit highways, including those crossing the swamps, closed due to black ice.
Sources: ABC News, Channel 9, Weather Channel
Update: Jan. 28, 7:25 P.M. EST:
Americans are advised to 1) stay off Winter Storm Leon’s roads if possible, 2) check on people needing medicine, 3) take extra care with heaters, and 4) use power blackout tips.
Leon fatalities so far have been attributed to automobile accidents and heater-caused fires. At least six people have died in the Deep South.
As ice had already accumulated to 1/2 inch in some places of the south, dangerously cold temperatures continued in the Midwest with wind chills in the -20s, -30s and -40s, according to weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce.
Some cities had daily record lows Tuesday morning. Chicago temps fell below zero by Monday afternoon with wind chills in the negative double-digits.
“We had two (employees) call in because they couldn’t come to work because of the school closings, and another called in sick,” said Kristelle Brister, manager of a Chicago Starbucks, who had her 9-year-old son with her at work after the city shut down its 400,000-student school system for the day.
Cincinnati’s been blanketed in snow since Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. Minnesota and Wisconsin saw even more severe weather.
Wind chills in the minus 40s were expected in Minneapolis. In Milwaukee, the chill hit minus 23. Elsewhere, wind chills of minus 18 were expected in Dayton, Ohio, minus 14 in Kansas City, Mo., and minus 3 in Louisville, Ky, and minus 14 in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Meanwhile, the south is experiencing emergency conditions compared to hurricane emergencies.
The photo below shows what photographer David Miller on Twitter calls “heinous” conditions in Ashland, Tennessee.
While extra thousands of workers and the National Guard have been activated to help, including helping to restore anticipated power outages, there are steps to be taken in the home before electicity is lost.
Essential Tips When Ice Storm Blackouts Are Approaching
Power outages are expected with severe weather events such as Leon’s ice storm. Taking the following steps can prepare a home for weather-related blackouts.
- Keep at least ½ tank of gas in your car at all times. Many gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. While it may seem inconvenient to make more frequent stops at the gas station, if you have a near-empty tank during a power outage, you may lack the fuel to travel in an emergency.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. Lowering the temperature before losing power allows the refrigerator to keep acceptable temperatures longer.
- Eat perishable foods first, conserving canned or other non-perishable items for a possible long-term outage.
During Power Outage
- Allow a small stream of water to run from faucets help prevent pipes from freezing and expensive repair problems. The American Red Cross says, “Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.”
- Never run a generator inside a home or garage as they produce potentially deadly carbon-monoxide fumes. Always keep running generators in an open and ventilated area. Also, do not directly connect the generator to your home’s wiring. Plug all necessary appliances directly into the generator. When a generator is connected to a home’s wiring, it can create a “back feed” into utility lines which can injure or kill anyone who is working to restore the power.
- Keep fridge and freezer openings to a minimum. By not opening the door, temperatures can be kept lower for longer. Decide before opening the fridge/freezer what you’ll remove and quickly close the door.
- Fill plastic containers with cold water and place them inside refrigerators and freezers to increase emergency water supply and helps keep air cool inside the fridge so spoilage is less likely.
- Do not put food outside in the cold air. Oklahoma’s State Department of Health says, it’s a bad idea to put refrigerator and freezer food outside. Temperatures outside can vary by the hour and frozen food can thaw if exposed to sunrays, even if it is very cold. Also, food stored outside can freeze.
- Unplug all appliances and leave only one light switched on. There is an added risk of power surges occurring that can destroy your appliances. Leave one light on in your home so you know when the power has returned.
- In extreme temperatures, to stay warm, plan visiting businesses likely to have generators during ice storm power outages. “Plan on visiting shopping malls or community centers that have generators to keep warm.”
Sources, Weather Channel, Associated Press
Update: Jan. 28, 5:45 P.M. EST
Winter Storm Leon roared across the Gulf Region Tuesday, canceling thousands of flights, closing businesses and schools, stranding desperate drivers on interstates in frigid conditions, causing over 150 road accidents in the Austin area alone, and killing at least six people.
Two people died in a 7-car pileup on an icy bridge in Wetumpka, according to an Alabama report. Thousands of people, who went to work, tried leaving early to beat the storm but were stuck in gridlock.
Four people, aged 3 months to 30 years, died early Tuesday morning in a fire that destroyed a mobile home in Itawamba County, near Alabama’s border. A space heater was to blame as temperatures dipped around 20 degrees overnight.
“Travel is just a nightmare across much of Georgia, and even in Alabama and Mississippi, with the snow across the region,” said Dr. Greg Postel on The Weather Channel Tuesday afternoon.
“No matter what type precipitation falls in any given location, travel conditions are likely to be dangerous into Wednesday. Part of southeast Georgia and coastal South Carolina are of particular concern for significant amounts of freezing rain, which could cause tree damage and power outages.”
Reports of frozen power lines have begun.
Over 150 traffic wrecks throughout the Austin area.
Officials met around 3 a.m. and were told icing wouldn’t be bad, but the weather changed by daybreak and some children in districts outside Austin already were on school buses while some teachers and principals were reporting they couldn’t get out of their homes because of ice, prompting officials to reverse earlier decisions and close or delay openings at the last minute. (The Weather Channel)
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the primary northern artery out of New Orleans, closed in both directions around 1:15 p.m. CST, according to NOLA.com. Liekwise, Baton Rouge’s main arteries over swamps to the north are closed.
At least twelve inches of snow fell on Virginia where the Department of Transportation cannot manage the unusual road situtation, according to a Before It’s News colleague this afternoon.
Many police departments cannot respond to fender-benders, only injury or multi-car accidents.
People in non-injury wrecks are to simply exchange insurance information, police say.
Meanwhile, the mid-west is in a deep freeze.
Do you feel it? Have Photos to share? Email [email protected]
Source: Thw Weather Channel
Photo Credit: Twitter, Weather Channel
Update: Jan. 28, 2:30 P.M. EST
Dutchsince speaks in his latest commentary just released about Winter Storm Leon. He’s reporting from Florida.
Frigid conditions have already claimed lives of dozens of Americans left out in the cold this year during the first two winter storms, Hercules and Ian. At least five people died in Oklahoma alone, according to KFOR that posted the photo below.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in its January 2012 annual point-in-time count found 633,782 people across America were homeless.
The three most commonly cited causes of homelessness for persons and families were a lack of affordable housing, cited by 72 percent, poverty (52%), and unemployment (44%), according to the United States Conference of Mayors, in 2008. (See homeless definition and criteria here.)
Contact details for warming shelters are listed below in today’s 1:00 P.M. EST update.
Winter Storm Leon’s Proving Global Warming a Hoax?
“Cold weather at a particular place/time does not disprove global warming — it does not negate the decades of temperature rise in the graph below. Global warming and a cold wave are not mutually exclusive,” says Wunderground, pointing to the NASA GISS graph below.
“There is increasing evidence that the additional warmth in the atmosphere is leading to a change in nature of weather extremes, possibly including patterns such as ones associated with recent weather in the U.S. and elsewhere.” (Read more from Wunderground Global Warming report here.)
Photo Credit: 1. Kmincents 2. KFOR 3. Susan Cushman
Update: Jan. 28, 1:00 P.M. EST
Forty million people are in the path of extreme Winter Storm Leon, not all of whom are well-enough off to stay warm. Officials are advising the haves to reach out to those less fortunate to help them survive.
If you know someone is in need of shelter during this winter storm, a few shelters can help them if you cannot.
As Before It’s News learns of more warming shelters opened, it will report them here. Stay tuned and check here often.
The Homeless Shelter Directory provides Homeless Shelters and Homeless Service Organizations. This includes all resources necessary to help the needy. ”The directory was created for people who want to find and donate food and/or supplies to their local shelter,” says the service’s website.
According to the organizers, volunteers are needed at most shelters. ”Due to the current foreclosure rate and US recession, many shelters have waiting lists. Please call before going to the shelter.”
If in need of shelter, have access to the internet, and want to go the government route, one can also use a Red Cross map [here] to locate your nearest options, or contact your local Red Cross chapter. The Red Cross says information is updated every 30 minutes.
Since the Red Cross is now a FEMA partner, the National Shelter System is a FEMA operation. To request additional information, phonel the NSS Helpline at 202-212-1640 or email [email protected]
Salvation Army and other churches have opened shelters.
For example, Lake Charles, Louisiana’s Salvation Army, at 3020 Legion Street, that houses men, according to Major David Cradoc, is accepting citizens seeking shelter from the cold. Check-in time is 5:00 PM and check-out time is 8:00 PM daily. This is also a Soup Kitchen as well, serving Breakfast at 7:00 AM and Dinner at 4:30 PM, 365 days a year. For more information call 337-433-4155.
Also in Lake Charrles, the local American Red Cross and the City have opened the Purple Heart Memorial Community Recreation Center, at 4305 Avenue H, as a temporary Warming Station. Visitors ”must provide their own essentials, including: clothing, toiletries, food and personal belongings.” Pets must be left out in the cold, according to the Red Cross and city. Call Lake Charles American Red Cross at 337-478-5122 or the Purple Heart Memorial Community Recreation Center at (337) 491-1277.
While the Red Cross is not opening sheltrs across all of the hard-hit areas, it says it will help with provisions if asked.
In Georgia, a shelter at Greater Newton Grove Cathedral, 722 Second Ave. N.W., has been open off-and-on all month. “As long as it’s under 30 degrees we’ll be open,” said Rev. Cornelius Ponder III.
Terri Jenkins, executive director of the South Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross, said the Red Cross doesn’t plan to open a shelter there, but stands ready to help any church or other organization that does.
Insurance and fire safety tips
Georgia released the following insurance and fire safety tips, applicable to most states:
• If snow or icy conditions cause damage to either your house or car, contact your insurance agent immediately. Your agent should provide you with claims forms and arrange for an insurance adjuster to visit your property. If you can’t reach your agent, contact the insurance company.
• Remember, in severe weather, drive with caution. Inclement weather does not absolve you of liability should you have an automobile accident. It is your responsibility to drive with a degree of caution warranted by hazardous conditions.
• When filing a homeowners claim, make a list of all your property and valuables you believe were damaged or destroyed. Take photographs of damage to submit with your claim.
• Secure your property. For example, if a tree falls and damages your roof, cover the affected area with a tarp or plywood to reduce further damage. Your insurance company will reimburse you for repair costs, but may not pay for subsequent damage caused by rain, sleet or snow. Keep receipts of materials used for repairs.
• If damage is so severe you have to leave, remove valuable items if there’s nowhere in the home to lock them up.
• If you rent, you must have your own renters policy to cover your personal belongings such as furniture, appliances and clothing. The management/landlord is not responsible unless you can prove they were negligent.
• Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires in Georgia. Portable space heaters, open fireplaces and wood stoves can be dangerous if misused. Keep curtains, draperies, and other flammable material away from heat sources. Make sure heaters have adequate ventilation, and always follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions.
• Have your home heating unit checked annually to be sure it is working efficiently and safely. Make sure all fuel-burning appliances and fireplaces are properly vented. If you suspect a gas leak in your home, leave immediately and call the gas company from elsewhere.
• If you use kerosene space heaters, make sure each heater has an automatic shut‑off in case it tips over. Use only K‑1 kerosene in a space heater; gasoline can cause an explosion.
• Install an adequate number of smoke alarms. Most fatal fires start between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., while the family is asleep. The advance warning of a smoke alarm may mean the difference between life and death. Nine out of 10 fire victims are already dead before the fire department is even called, mainly from smoke and toxic gases. If you already have smoke alarms, don’t forget to replace the batteries annually.
• Each household should have a well‑rehearsed family escape plan. All rooms, especially bedrooms, should have two escape routes. Have a predetermined meeting place outside the house so you can be sure everyone is out safely.
• When temperatures drop into the teens or twenties, homeowners should be prepared for frozen pipes. Leaving kitchen cabinet doors open will allow warm air to reach pipes. If the worst happens, repairing damage to internal plumbing caused by freezing, and related damage to carpeting, furniture and other belongings may be covered by your homeowners policy.
Photo Credit: The Urban Survivor
Update: Jan. 28, 11:30 A.M. EST
Winter Storm Leon has “paralyzed” the Deep South, the Weather Channel says.
The threat of loss of power looming for some is already a reality in the Mid West where propane has been depleted.
Warnings, such as one by Cleco Energy Co. in Louisiana, are being issued about possible downed power lines that are energized and present safety hazards.
Buildup of ice on highways and roads is leading to closures or difficulty accessing certain key cities in Louisiana.
“The first closure reported was the Audubon Bridge between West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee Parishes, about 110 miles northwest of New Orleans,” reports the Times Picayune. “Next came the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge [the only bridge] between Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
“Interstate 10 at the junction of Interstate 49 in Lafayette was closed because of icy conditions shortly after 8 a.m., with traffic being detoured north on I-49 to US 190.”
Should there be a petrochemical explosion or dangerous chemical leak, hundreds of thousands of residents would be trapped.
A tractor-trailer labeled as carrying hazardous material overturned at about 8:30 a.m. at milepost 40 on I-49 between Opelousas and Alexandria, Louisiana. State troopers say “only residue” [radiation residue? Dangerous fracking residue?] was inside the truck’s totes and posed no public-safety threat or traffic impact.
At 9:15 a.m., troopers closed I-49 in both directions between mileposts 40 and 46 ”because of ice on the roadway,” they said..
Louisiana has already closed the major artery from a swath of oil and gas refineries into Baton Rouge.
New Orleans officials presented the following news to residents, telling people to saty off the roads:
Leon Could Cause Methane Explosion From Unusual Source
During the unprecedented Winter Storm Leon, people are advised to protect animals by keeping them in warm shelters.
That could prove to be dangerous, however, according to new reports.
90 farting cows caused an explosion in a German dairy farm, blowing the roof off and injuring one of the animals.
A “static electric charge caused the gas to explode with flashes of flames,” police in the central German town of Rasdorf told reporters. (Reuters) One cow was treated for burns.
Photo Credit: Fire Earth
Update: Jan. 28, 10:00 A.M. EST
Winter Storm Leon, that officials are calling ”unprecedented,” and “not a normal event,” has prompted nine governors to declare a State of Emergency.
Energy shortages are becoming life-threatening in Mid West states. Petrochemical refineries in Louisiana are at risk. Freezing temperatures were blamed for the massive chemical leak in West Virginia in which 300000 residents were exposed to dangerous poisons.
“Louisiana is a key producer and exporter of propane and heating fuel products. State agencies are now authorized to take appropriate actions to ensure these products can be delivered in Louisiana and other states,” said an official Louisiana government statement.
Alabama, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin are each under a State of Emergency.
“The most dangerous things, the things that worry the weather experts the most, are the accumulations of ice,” said Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Jindal is responsible for hundreds of oil refineries at risk in freezing conditions.
Alabama: Gov. Bentley said, “This is not a normal event,” and disclosed that the “polar vortex” has “increased the number of deaths throughout the nation.”
Propane shortages are causing life-threatening conditions throughout the Mid West.
Minnesota: Gov. Dayton declared a state of emergency for Minnesota in response to the critical shortage of propane and other home heating fuel statewide.
Temperatures are due to continue dropping behind an arctic boundary heading towards the southern U.S.
Wind will make temperatures across the northern Plains and Northeast feel as cold as -30F in some locations.
Tuesday, accumulating snow, sleet and ice has begun to make hazardous travel conditions from South Texas to the Carolinas.
Thinking about renewable energy and maybe even off-the-grid power during this storm? One man shows how to build a 400 square foot cabin for $2000. (Click here for more information on how renewable energy is cost-effective and even life-saving.)
Source: Fire Earth, Off Grid World
Update: Jan. 28, 9:00 A.M. EST
Throughout the Deep South, residents have heard official warnings to take precautions and/or emergency measures to avoid Winter Storm Leon’s dangers he’s anticipated to bring.
Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal declared a statewide emergency, saying people must have emergency provisions and must stay off roads to prevent dangerous Winter Storm Leon destruction.
The governor warned residents to stay off roads to avoid accidents from icy conditions causing veihicles to slip. Crews have been working to keep major highways open for people absolutely needing to travel.
Dennis Dawsey, customer service V.P. for Entergy’s Louisiana utilities, said in a press release. “Power outage restoration may extend into 3 to 5 days for some customers, depending on the severity of the damage. Ice storms can pose a significant threat to an electric system, and extreme cold weather can present additional challenges and require a different – and often slower – restoration process.”
Entergy has brought into the state 2,100 restoration workers to respond to outage problems.
Saying what Louisianans needed to survive Leon, Jindal said, “They have to have the batteries. They have to have the food. They have to do what they can to stay warm during these times.”
The Advocate reported at 7:45 A.M. Tuesday:
A winter storm warning, which means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice are expected, remains in place for most of south Louisiana from Lafayette to New Orleans until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
As of the 4 a.m. forecast, light sleet and light freezing rain was falling across extreme southwest Mississippi and east-central Louisiana and was expected to continue south and east throughout the day.
Eventually the sleet and freezing rain will become snow with the heaviest amounts to come mid-day through the early evening hours.
The accumulation of ice could be up to a quarter inch in most areas, with areas south of Lake Pontchartrain, including the greater New Orleans area, getting as much as a half-inch of ice. In addition to the ice, Baton Rouge can expect the possibility of up to an inch of snow while areas more to the north and east could get up to three inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
As driving conditions are expected to become hazardous at daybreak Tuesday, state and local officials have urged people to stay of the roads especially as many state and local offices as well as schools have been closed.
Since temperatures in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas won’t get much above freezing Tuesday, these hazardous driving conditions, primarily due to ice, will continue into Wednesday as well. Power outages could also be an issue in some areas as freezing rain and ice accumulates on tree limbs and power lines.
Texas is already reporting numerous car accidents.The Houston Independent School District, with over 210,000 students, plus schools in Beaumont, Galveston and Fort Bend canceled classes Tuesday due to the Leon’s threat. Government offices, buildings, and courts in Houston, Harris and Galveston counties are closed
Virgnia’s Hampton Roads residents have been told to prepare for one foot of snow by Wednesday afternoon. Some areas in Hampton Roads could see up to a foot of a snow by Wednesday afternoon.
South Carolina closed many schools. State government offices also were closed in parts of South Carolina.
North Carolina is preparing for power outages. The National Weather Service said the frozen precipitation was expected to begin Tuesday morning and continue into Wednesday. A winter storm warning was in effect in central and eastern North Carolina.
Georgians were told, “The snowfall amounts are going to matter very little in this situation because of the ice potential,” said Jason Deese, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. “Some parts of the state may end up seeing the greatest impact just because they get more ice than snow.”
Foridians have been told to beware of power lines snapping and freezing rain Tuesday afternoon when Leon hits later Tuesday, bringing freezing rain and — for some — snow. “The worsening weather will be dangerous for driving, and accumulating ice could cause power lines to snap.”
Source: Weather Underground
Update: Jan. 28, 8:00 A.M. EST
Leon could be the most impactful winter storm to hit the region in decades, report meteorologists. Closures across the Gulf region are in effect to abate accidents in the predicted blast of freezing precipitation.
Schools from eastern Texas into Florida’s panhandle preemptively canceled school Tuesday ahead of the storm. Thousands of flights are canceled.
Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said Monday night over 1,500 Delta flights alone have been canceled system-wide beginning 11 a.m. Tuesday.
“If you get into any of these kind of slippery conditions, most of these people don’t have snow tires on their cars, and they’re going to slide around very quickly,” warned Tom Niziol for The Weather Channel.
Parts of southeast Georgia and coastal South Carolina are particularly concerning due to significant amounts of freezing rain, that could cause tree damage and power outages.
Author’s Note: Are you feeling it? Take care, my friends. Tome for all-American spirit of lending a hand to those in need. email [email protected] Twitter @DeborahDupre
Update: Jan 27, 8:00 EST
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm watches, warnings and advisories from central and southeast Texas eastward along the Gulf Coast, into Georgia, most of South Carolina, central and eastern North Carolina and far southeast Virginia.
In some area of the Deep South, the entire atmosphere will be below freezing and vulnerable to snow.
In areas closer to the Gulf Coast, layers of above-freezing air above the ground, setting the stage for sleet and/or freezing rain is likely
Temperatures will remain in the 20s. Wind chills will be in the single digits.
While unusual to have snow in the Deep South, It’s now unusual. What is unusual is for the freeze to be this extreme and impact this many people: forty million, the same forty million that some toxicologists have said have a lowered immune system dur to contamination from BP’s oil and Nalco’s Corexit.
Beware of driving hazards: ‘If you hit ice, don’t slam on breaks’
Bridges will ice over first.
People are being advised to stay home if possible.
“A lot of people who live in this area have never been in cold weather like that, but in my case I’ve driven and lived in the cold before. I’ve lived in Germany twice and New Jersey where the snow is always big,” says Albany resident Albert Leon Bob.
Ice can make traveling extremely dangerous, especially on bridges.
“They will ice over first because they are not covered under the bottom so they have a double surface that’s exposed that causes them to ice over first so you need to be very cautious if you go over those,” says Captain Tom Jackson.
If you hit ice, don’t slam on your brakes, he advised.
Let off the gas and try to steer into the direction the vehicle is going so you can regain control.
Officials say t’s important to pay attention and better yet, if possible, just avoid traveling when the weather is nasty.
“So the biggest thing we tell people to do is be extra cautious, don’t be out on the roadway if you don’t need to be, and watch for, you know these black ice is the worst thing you can run across because a road can be iced over but it blends right into the roadway,” says Jackson.
If you do plan to go out, check your vehicle, including the tread and air pressure of your tires.
Drivers planning to travel should avoid Interstates 10, 40, 45, 65, 75, and 95.
Remember: Alcohol and freezing temperatures can kill. (See potentially life-saving precautions directly below and at the bottom of this page.)
Before It’s News Reader, David Howard, The Essential Prepper, says, “I’ve noted in other posts the need for basic prepping, including the need to factor in freezing temperatures. There are many preparedness sites available and I’m sure I won’t add anything new to the topic, but here are a few considerations when prepping for extreme cold weather:
Water – At least a 7 day supply at one gallon per person per day.Food – At least a 7 day supply of non-perishable, easily prepared food (and a can opener!)Flashlight and BatteriesExtra BatteriesFirst Aid KitMedications – At least a 7 day supply along with any necessary medical implements or items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contacts, syringes, etc.)Small ToolsetSanitation - Toilet paper, moist towelettes, and disposal methods are imperative.Baby Supplies – Bottles, formula, extra water, baby food, diapers, etc. It cannot be stressed enough to keep extra formula and baby food on hand.Blankets/Gloves/Hats/ScarvesAlternative heat – Kerosene, wood-burning stove, and an ample supply of fuel. This heating method should be capable of running if all utilities are unavailable.
Sources: National Weather Service, Accu Weather, WALB, The Essential Prepper
Update: Jan. 27 6:00 P.M. EST:
Prepare Now! advicories issued for historic winter storm
Some 40 million people not accustomed or typically prepared for severe winter storm are in the path of Winter Storm Leon that will affect a long swath of the Deep South over the next couple of days – including places better known for their beaches, balmy breezes and hurricanes.
Some areas in the Deep South will see frozen precipitation as early as tonight or early Tuesday. Warnings are still being declared and residents are told that it very important to prepare now.
The threat stems from combined bitterly cold arctic air mass plunging southward behind a sharp cold front, while moisture streams northward from the Gulf Coast.
As the moisture crosses into the cold air behind the front, a historic swath of frozen and freezing precipitation will break out. (Arctic Blast This Week)
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm watches, warnings and advisories from central and southeast Texas eastward along the Gulf Coast and into Georgia, most of South Carolina, central and eastern North Carolina and far southeast Virginia. For Houston, it’s the second time with a winter storm warning in just five days.
Update: Jan 27: 9:00 A.M. EST:
Get a game plan. A winter strom watch (see advisory definitions below) is in effect in the Deep South where residents are told, “Get a game plan.” Tuesday and Wednesday are to bring the worst winter storms ot hit the south in years.
From Houston to Hilton Head, S.C., people are bracing for what is predicted to be the most impactful winter storm to hit the region in 25 years.
“There are almost 1,300 miles covered by watches and warnings across the Southeast United States,” explained Tom Niziol, winter weather expert for The Weather Channel. “Some areas in this part of the Southeast haven’t seen this kind of wintry weather in 25 years.”
For the 2nd time in 5 days, the Deep South is under a winter storm watch: (http://wxch.nl/Lac2Uk) Businesses were closed in many areas including Batorn Rouge last Friday.
Poor road conditions and unprepared drivers are already resulting in mulitple car pile-ups.
For example, a 23-car pileup is among many wrecks seen on area roads last night, leading to multiple closures. (http://atxne.ws/1aQtOSM)
Update: Jan. 26, 2014. 6:00 PM EST:
The Gulf coast braces for snow and closures. Snow up the three inches is predicted along with school and other closures including flight cancellations along the Gulf coast region:
“While the rare snow will be a welcome sight for children and those young at heart, this will be a major winter storm for the I-10 corridor and the eastern Carolinas,” Accu Weather says.
“Residents and travelers should prepare for significant disruptions. This includes motorists planning to travel on Interstates 10, 40, 45, 65, 75 and 95.”
A polar plunge with harsher conditions than frigid winter storns earlier this January, that broke records, is arriving early this week. It’s bringing coldest daytime highs and nighttime lows so far this winter and threatening far-reaching frostbite, hypothermia and water main breaks, according to meteorologists Sunday.
“The magnitude of this cold blast will be enough to produce a far-reaching threat of frostbite, hypothermia, frozen pipes and water main breaks,” AccuWeather reports Sunday.
While harsh cold is returning to the Midwest and Northeast this weekend, Accuweather says the cold blast this weekend ”will pale in comparison” to what’s coming Monday through Wednesday.
“Biting winds will usher in the frigid air, creating dramatically colder temperatures. Where snow is covering the ground, the winds will worsen the situation for motorists by blowing and drifting the snow.”
Grand Forks, N.D., will bottom out at around 30 below zero and across most of the Northeast, highs will be held to single digits and teens Tuesday and Wednesday.
Human skin will freeze in just a few minutes in the conditions expected this week.
People in the upper northwest and northeast are advised to prepare now.
Alcohol and freezing storm conditions don’t mix, a less discussed precaution: Do not consume alcohol if stuck in frigid conditions or heading into it for unavoidable reason.
While drinking makes us feel warmer, the truth is that it can actually result in death. Alcohol is a quick way to die from hypothermia.
Mythbusters explains that alcohol may make your skin feel warm, but this feeling of a heat wave is deceptive. A nip or two actually causes blood vessels to dilate, moving warm blood closer to the surface of your skin, making you feel warmer temporarily. At the same time, however, those same blood vessels pumping blood closer to the skin’s surface cause loss of core body heat – heat needed to survive, especially if stuck in a snowdrift.
“If you go out in the cold after drinking, because you’ve got a lot of heat on the periphery of your body, you can lose heat very easily and quickly. And that can be dangerous,” says Professor Colin Drummond, head of the Section of Alcohol Research at King’s College London. “That takes blood and heat away from the core of your body. So while it feels like you’re warm because your skin is warm, your vital organs aren’t as warm as you might think they are.”
Drinking heavily and then venturing out into arctic conditions, the faulty internal thermometer along with the dulling of senses and bravado that alcohol can create, can spell trouble.
“Drinking too much leads to bad decisions,” says Prof Drummond. “If you drunkenly decide to walk home across a snowy field instead of getting a taxi, you’re putting yourself at risk. Hypothermia can take hold quickly and can even lead to death.”
For this reason, if one sees a homeless person or youth out in these extreme conditions, it is better to reach out and help or to call a friend or 911 for help.
Public Alerts advises taking the following precautions to survive brutally frigid conditions:
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can result in heart attack – a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.
- Stay dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
- Watch for frostbite signs: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
- Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.
The Red Cross says being prepared for winter storms includes knowing the difference between public announcements:
- Winter Storm Outlook – Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.
- Winter Weather Advisory – Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
- Winter Storm Watch – Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
- Winter Storm Warning – Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.
Sources: Voices of America, Accu Weather, Red Cross, Before It’s News
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