Lamar County braces for bitter cold weather - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Lamar County braces for bitter cold weather

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Lamar County residents are being urged to make preparations for the coldest weather in decades. 

The coldest weather since 1988 is predicted to move into the Paris area tonight with the arrival of an Arctic cold front. High temperatures are expected to be in the 20's with gusty north winds of 20-30 miles per hour that will possibly drop the wind chills below zero by Friday morning. In addition, a chance for light rain will be possible Wednesday evening and, although no significant accumulations of ice are expected, motorists should be aware that patchy light icing is possible on elevated bridges and overpasses.

The City of Paris will open the emergency operations center beginning Thursday morning and assess the situation as it develops. City crews are also taking steps to address ice on streets and to respond to an increase in the number of broken water mains that usually accompanies extreme weather. The Lamar County Chapter of the American Red Cross is also monitoring the event and has contingency plans in place to open up to three shelters if necessary. Anyone with questions about shelters can telephone 2-1-1 for more information on the status of any shelters.

City officials strongly urge residents to take the following precautions to protect themselves from the

frigid weather:

1. Periodically check on friends, family, and neighbors who may be elderly or have health issues to be certain they have adequate heat, food, and water.

2. Because the combination of low temperatures and high winds will make it feel like zero degrees or colder, any exposed skin should be covered. Besides the obvious use of a heavy jacket and/or layered clothing, use of any type of hat or other head covering will also

P.O. BOX 9037 • PARIS. TEXAS 75461·9037 • (903) 785·7511 • FAX (903) 785-8519

significantly help retain body heat.

  1. Use extreme care when using space heaters and, if possible, avoid using kitchen stoves as heat sources. Statistics show that careless use of space heaters, stoves, and other alternative heaters leads to an increase on home fires during frigid weather.
  2. If using a heat source that has a flame, such as a fireplace or gas heater, provide adequate ventilation so carbon monoxide levels do not reach dangerous levels. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that causes death at elevated levels. Use of a carbon monoxide detector is recommended.
  3. Outdoor pets require additional bedding and food to protect them from the cold. Check your pet's water bowl frequently and replace if the water freezes.
  4. Turn off your landscape irrigation systems. Running sprinkler systems in frigid weather will likely lead to damage to the system and the runoff onto a street will freeze and become a traffic hazard.
  5. Insulate exterior faucets and water pipes in un-insulated areas such as exterior walls of attics. If you do not have a faucet cover available, wrap the faucet in a towel or turn the water on to a slow drip. It is also a good idea to open cabinets under kitchen and bathroom sinks if the plumbing is on an exterior wall.

The City of Paris will utilize its CodeRED telephone notification system to notify Paris citizens of important information during this weather event. Residents should also monitor local radio, television, and newspaper for the latest news.

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