• 55°

Temperatures among coldest in decades

A cold front is currently moving through Lawrence County bringing with it a wintry mix of ice, snow, and temperatures dipping below zero.

The bitter cold and harsh climate presents several obstacles for residents trying to keep warm either in the car or at home. There are precautions that can be taken, however, to guard against the dangers of winter weather. Proper insulation is the most important, says Jim Hacker of Ironton City Hardware.

“Inspect your home and make sure it’s properly insulated,” Hacker said. “That’s my biggest tip. Also check around your windows, and doors to make sure they are properly sealed. We sell weather strips here that can fill in any creases, making sure your doors and windows are airtight will make for a warmer home.”

One of the biggest concerns when temperatures drop this low is the potential for frozen water pipes. Frozen pipes are at a high risk of bursting.

“You can buy wraps for your pipes if you’re concerned about freezing,” Hacker said. “But, you can also help prevent frozen pipes by leaving a faucet dripping a little bit.”

In the worst-case scenario and power is lost residents may be searching for alternative means to heat their homes.

“Kerosene heaters sale big in times like these,” Hacker said. “They do a good job of keeping a small area warm but you have to be careful with them. We also have coal and wood burners that can keep a room warm.”

Those that are traveling or going to and from work should take as many precautions to maintain warmth as those at home. Kathleen Fuller from the Ohio Department of Transportation says that it is imperative that motorist think ahead before venturing out.

“Never assume that your car will provide you the heat you need,” Fuller said. “Dress accordingly to stay warm and dry. Wear loose-fitting layers that will help retain body heat.”

Fuller also says it’s a good idea for motorist to have a “winter survival kit” handy in the event of a vehicle breakdown.

“You have to keep things like extra clothes, jumper cables and first aid kits in your car,” Fuller said. “I’d also suggest keeping some nonperishable food and water as well. More importantly make sure you have your cell phone and charger.”

The cold front is forecast to dissipate later this week with temperatures returning to seasonal norms of 30 to 40 degrees.