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Light snow, more frigid temperatures on the way

Cold conditions could cause frozen pipes

Old Man Winter has been officially here for a week and the region is expected to see its first snowfall accumulations for the season this weekend, followed by bitter cold temperatures.

Simone Lewis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, West Virginia, said snow could arrive late Friday night.

“There’s a disturbance moving into the area, and we’re looking at some light snow,” she said.
She said Ironton is expected to get lesser amounts, with totals of about half an inch.

“You’re right on the edge of it,” Lewis said. “But, if you travel north and east, into southeast Ohio, you’re looking at one to three inches.”

Lewis said snowfall should be over by midday on Saturday.

While the snowfall is light, Lewis also said the cold temperatures are about to drop to bitter levels.

“Particularly after Sunday, we’re looking at some really frigid temperatures,” she said. “It’s going to be in the single digits for a while.”

She said the thermometer could drop to as low as five degrees, beginning Sunday, and those lows could continue throughout the week.

“I’ve done the forecast through Friday, and it’s going to stay low through then,” she said.

Temperatures that low could lead to problems with freezing pipes.

“Five degrees is enough to bust pipes,” Jim Hacker, owner of Iron City Hardware, said.

He said to help prevent freezing, people could leave their faucets dripping or producing a thin stream of water.

“It helps a lot,” he said. “A drip is good, but a stream is even better. It keeps the water moving. The joints are what usually freeze first.”

“It will make your water bill go up a bit, but it’s worth it,” he said.

Hacker recommended a few other tips to prevent pipes form being frozen.

“Protect them and wrap them well,” he said. “Keep them insulated. Caulk up any cracks. The owned will freeze pipes well before the temperature will.”

Hacker said in addition to supplies for those tasks, his store offers things like heating tape to ward off freezing.

“It keeps them warm and is the best solution,” he said.

If pipes do freeze, he recommended electric heaters.

“We have kerosene and torpedo heaters for the bigger jobs,” he said.

While Hacker said he does not wish plumbing issues on anyone, the cold weather keeps them busy at this time of year.

“Especially with snow,” he said. “We call it ‘the three S’s: Salt, sleds and shovels.”