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Brutal Cold Continues Into Tuesday

January 21st, 2019 by WCBC Radio

With the county’s first major Arctic blast, the National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia warns Monday will be the coldest day with gradual warming beginning Tuesday.

“Monday is going to be very, very cold,” NWS Meteorologist Ray Martin said. “The coldest temperatures will be in the single digits in Frostburg with mid-teens around the Potomac River and Cumberland areas.”

Martin continued that over the next 24 hours lows, with the wind chill factor could feel like -15 degrees.

“Tuesday temperatures will stay low, but the wind will be calmer,” Martin said. “With the calm winds, the air temperature will feel warmer.”

Acting Emergency Services Director Roger Bennett says officials are monitoring weather updates closely and staying in close contact with staff in the field to assure needs are being met.

“As the cold continues today, we remain vigilant and our emergency services staff is trained to act quickly and in the best interest of the citizens we serve,” Bennett said. “Weather related emergencies where life safety may be in question should be reported to the Allegany County Joint Communications Center immediately by calling 911.”

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CITIZENS

“Extreme cold weather conditions can have significant health impacts on individuals, including, but not limited to: hypothermia, frostbite and cardiac events,” Jurisdictional Medical Director Dr. Janelle Martin said. 

Dr. Martin recommends staying inside as much as possible with the current temperatures.  When outside, dress in layers, remembering to also cover your hands, ears and face as much as possible.  Avoid wet clothing, changing often if necessary.  Take frequent breaks if shoveling snow or with other physical labor/exertion while outside. 

Citizens should pay special attention to “the elderly, infants and those with complicated medical issues and should be particularly careful with extended exposure to extreme cold temperatures,” Dr. Martin added.

Also remember to check on your family, friends and neighbors, especially those with limited ability to call or walk/drive for help.

WEEKEND WEATHER RELATED INCIDENTS

The Allegany County Joint Communications Center, area fire and EMS units handled an array of incidents over the weekend related to the weather including vehicle crashes, downed trees and a search in the Green Ridge State Forest after a vehicle became stranded and a mutual aid incident in nearby Pennsylvania.

“Units from Flintstone and Orleans Volunteer Fire Departments assisted Bedford County units on a separate incident where occupants became stranded in the woods,” Todd Bowman, public information officer for Allegany County Department of Emergency Services said.

The incident dispatched at 4:09 a.m. on Sunday brought ATVs from both departments to the intersection of Martin Hill and Chaneysville Road in Bedford County, according to Bowman. Units remained on the scene for approximately two hours. No injuries were reported according to fire department officials.

“We had many citizens that reported power outages Sunday. The majority of those citizens have had their power restored,” Bennett said.

County Warming Stations

With major cold events, Allegany County in partnership with local facilities, including fire departments and churches, have opened warming stations for citizens to get out of the elements.

“Major large scale power outages is usually the reason we open cold weather shelters,” Bennett said. “These shelters can be opened in minutes if needed.”

Bennett added that another example for opening a shelter could include a major, multi-vehicle accident where occupants are not injured, but need to be out of the harsh weather conditions.

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