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Frigid temperatures arriving Thursday

Wednesday, December 21, 2022 - An arctic blast is set to take place throughout the area just one day after today's official start of winter.

Temperatures are predicted to be bitterly cold, with the forecast showing a low of only 3 degrees for Thursday. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), wind chills will be -10 to -20 degrees below zero with strong winds and the possibility for snow on both Thursday and Friday.

A wind chill watch as well as a winter weather advisory are in effect for Sequoyah County. 1 to 2 inches of snow with local amounts are possible on Thursday and a light glaze of ice is also possible, according to the NWS.

So, what should you do to prepare your family and home for winter weather?

Be sure you have plenty of warm blankets, food, and water.

Never use generators indoors, and make sure when utilizing space heaters that they are not placed near furniture, curtains, or anything that can easily catch fire.

Flashlights and extra batteries are highly recommended to have on hand because you never know when a power outage may occur.

Allow inside faucets to drip and open cabinet doors to prevent pipes and water lines from freezing.

Cover outside faucets and unhook water hoses.

Arrange for your furry friends to come inside or prepare a warm place to bed down during freezing temperatures.

Ensure that outside animals have access to fresh, unfrozen water.

If precipitation occurs, don’t travel unless it’s an emergency. In frigid temperatures, precipitation can create havoc on roadways in a short amount of time. If you have to travel, be sure to fuel up your vehicle, have extra blankets on hand, and drive with caution.

Limit your outdoor time to 10–15 minutes at a time to avoid hypothermia. Warning signs related to hypothermia include slurred speech, confusion, uncontrollable shivering, exhaustion, and/or loss of memory.

For those in need of a warm to place to stay, Hope Campus in Fort Smith will be open for everyone. They will be open 24 hours a day starting on Thursday and lasting through the next seven days.

The Salvation Army in Fort Smith will also be open for families only.

Lindsie Dyer, Staff Writer

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