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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Temperatures plummet, expected to remain low through weekend

  • The forecasted winter storm didn't materialize snow as expected on Christmas Day, but it left an icy glaze on roadways and lingering frigid temperatures with cold days and lows in the teens overnight.
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  • The forecasted winter storm didn't materialize snow as expected on Christmas Day, but it left an icy glaze on roadways and lingering frigid temperatures with cold days and lows in the teens overnight.
    Lows are forecasted to remain in the high twenties through the rest of the week, with a low of 30 degrees predicted for Saturday and 35 degrees forecasted for Sunday.
    Winds are expected to switch from the north to the south, which will take a little bit of the bite off, forecaster Daryl Williams of the National Weather Service said.
    No rain or snow is expected through the weekend, however chances rise on Monday and Tuesday for winter precipitation. It could be rain, snow, or sleet, Williams said.
    "It's not looking to be as powerful of a storm as the one earlier this week," he added.
    With the extreme temperatures during the winter, residents should take precautions to avoid problems with bursting pipes in their home.
    Ron Callahan, a licensed plumber for more than 35 years, said it comes down to using common sense.
    "Take the hose off the outside faucet and cover crawl spaces," he said. "And when it's really cold, let the faucets drip."
    Despite that age-old advice, many still have issues with freezing pipes when temperatures remain low for several days.
    Wednesday, Callahan had already responded to a job in Shawnee involving a frozen hydrant with hose.
    "Common sense mostly will keep you out of a lot of trouble," Callahan said.
    During the winter months and periods of winter storms, taking precautions with vehicle maintenance also can help when temperatures get this cold, such as checking antifreeze levels and batteries.
    Residents also need to protect themselves in these conditions by bundling up in layers.
    Local emergency management officials provide the following tips to remember during extreme cold and wintry weather:
    • Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens and sturdy waterproof boots, protecting your extremities. Cover mouths to protect lungs.

    • Excessive exposure can lead to frostbite, which causes a loss of feeling and a pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, seek medical help.

    • Hypothermia can occur in extreme cases. Warning signs are uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If the person's temperature drops below 95 degrees, seek immediate medical care.

    • Also, consider pets and livestock. They will need extra food and drinking water and shelter.

    • It's also important for residents to prevent damage to a home's water utilities by protecting pipes from freezing conditions, such as wrapping them in insulation or layers of newspapers and covering the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture.
 Allowing a trickle of warm water to run from a faucet that is farthest from the water meter or one that has frozen in the past can help.

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