Northeast Louisiana may escape the freezing rain: Here are some tips to deal with the cold

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While much of the state is bracing for a nasty winter storm, Northeast Louisiana may be spared the worst of it.

Colder than normal temperatures are expected for the next several days, with a chance of snow and freezing rain in the southern parts of Louisiana, but these parts should stay dry according to meteorologist Matt Hemingway of the Shreveport office of the National Weather Service.

"The high temperatures today will probably only get into the upper 30s with lows tonight in the 20s, and that same trend with carry over into tomorrow and also Saturday with highs only in the 40s and lows in the 20s," Hemingway said. "Pretty much standard, kind of winter time temperatures although these are colder than average for this time of year. Typically our highs are in the 50s and our lows are in the 30s, so we're only looking at highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s. A little below normal but definitely we're kind of hitting that time in the winter where we would expect our coldest temperatures."

Even though we may be avoiding the sort of difficult weather predicted elsewhere, and in case the weather defies the predictions (which has been known to happen), here are some tips and go-to information from the American Red Cross in the event of inclement winter weather.

A thermometer showing freezing temperatures and falling snow.
A thermometer showing freezing temperatures and falling snow.

While outdoors during a winter storm:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel. (About 70% of deaths related to ice and snow occur in automobiles)

  • Wear layered clothing.

  • Walk carefully on icy sidewalks.

  • Never use cruise control while driving in the winter.

  • If you are stranded, tie a bright cloth to your antenna and stay in your car. Run your engine for 10 minutes every hour for heat and slightly open a window for ventilation.

While at home:

  • Bring your pets inside. Make sure outdoor animals have shelter and nonfrozen water.

  • Never heat your home with an oven or stove.

  • Monitor local media for the latest news.

  • To protect your pipes: Open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate and let cold water drip from the faucet at a trickle.

  • If using a space heater, keep it three feet from other objects, place it on a nonflammable surface and turn it off before going to bed.

If you lose power:

  • Turn off and unplug everything to avoid power surges when power is restored.

  • Leave one night on so you know when power is restored.

  • Keep your fridge door closed as much as possible to preserve food.

  • If you use a generator, place it outdoors in dry conditions away from windows or doors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. NEVER use a generator inside.

In the event of ruptured pipes with water entering the home, residents are encouraged to use their private shutoff valve to turn off the water, according to the City of Monroe. Citizens can call the City of Monroe Water Distribution office for an emergency turn-off at the meter if they do not have a private shutoff valve or cannot find it.

Water Distribution is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. During regular hours, call (318) 329-2391. For after hours and weekends, call (318) 329-2385.

Follow Ian Robinson on Twitter @_irobinson and on Facebook at https://bit.ly/3vln0w1.

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This article originally appeared on Monroe News-Star: Northeast La. to escape freezing rain, but here are some tips

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