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NWS safety advice for cold weather

by Rhett Gentry | February 16, 2021 at 8:18 a.m.
A secondary path is shown jumping the curb on Main Street in Magnolia.

The National Weather Service’s website hosts a “Winter Safety” section with infographics detailing how to remain safe during the winter. The safety tips range from preparations for motorists and tips for residents who are stuck at home due to extreme winter weather.

Staying safe on the roads

Black ice can form on any road and along curbs and drainage areas due to melting snow.

It is much more prevalent

at night, but can still be around in the morning. The NWS recommends not driving during freezing temperatures after rain or snowmelt.

Bridges often freeze before most roads do, due to air passing above and underneath the structure. The freezing is typically not uniform, with

shady areas remaining icy while parts of the bridge in the sun do not. The NWS recommends slowing down before driving over a bridge, as changing speeds on ice is dangerous.

Ice storms and freezing rain

The NWS states that freezing rain is more dangerous than snow because it can form ice on the pavement. Falling branches and power lines are also possible due to freezing rain. The NWS recommends not driving during freezing rain events.

To prepare for ice storms, the NWS recommends trimming weak or damaged branches from around the home, ensuring that vehicle wipers are not raised, having cellular devices charge and retaining a week’s worth of food and prescriptions.

Power outages

To remain warm during power outages, the first thing to do is to change into loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. The NWS also recommends slowing the blinds and curtains of windows, closing off rooms and stuffing towels in cracks under the doors. It is also important to drink water and eat food, which will provide energy and warmth to the body. The NWS discourages using caffeine and alcohol.

Entergy Arkansas will have a live power outage map with estimated restoration times published on its website, entergy-arkansas.com.

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