Snow, Bitter Wind Chill, High Tides for Thursday and Friday
January 2, 2014
Another winter storm arriving in Maine today will bring blowing and drifting snow, dangerous wind chills and some potential coastal flooding in York and Cumberland Counties. With ice still on tree limbs, wind gusts may cause some power outages.
MEMA joins the National Weather Service and all partners in advising Mainers to stay aware of changing weather conditions. And, as always, follow these safety tips, and find more online at MainePrepares.
- Stay informed of the risk in your area. All NWS alerts can be found on MEMA's website.
- Check in on friends and neighbors who may need assistance, especially those who may be operating generators or alternative heaters. Neighbors helping neighbors save lives. Share safety information with those who might not have received it.
- No fallen power line is safe to touch. If you find a downed power line, call your electric utility immediately.
- Death can result from improper use of generators. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, use generators outside only, at least 15 feet away from doors and windows. Have a carbon monoxide detector with battery back-up where people sleep
- Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, nausea, vomiting or dizziness. Get out of the house and call 911 at once.
Arctic Temperatures and Wind Chills
Wind Chill Warnings and Advisories are in effect for many areas of the state. Winds associated with the storm will combine with arctic cold temperatures to create dangerous conditions equivalent to as much as 35 degrees below zero, depending on where you are. Tips from the MaineCDC:
- Stay indoors as much as you can
- Dress in layers.
- Wear a warm hat – 30% of heat loss is through the head.
- Wear a scarf and gloves.
- Infants should be in a room in which the temperature is 61-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drink plenty of fluids and warm/hot drinks.
- Eat regular balanced meals to give you energy – good nutrition is important.
- Keep active when it’s cold, but not to the point where you’re sweating.
- Keep dry and change out of wet clothes as soon as possible.
- Cut down on alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, since all three cause heat loss.
- Try to keep one room in the house warm.
- Ask your doctor if you are on any medications that affect your ability to maintain a steady body temperature (such as neuroleptic medications and sedative hypnotics).
- Recognize the symptoms of hypothermia – impaired consciousness, sleepiness, confusion, and/or disorientation, shivering (may not see shivering in the elderly or people on certain medications), pale or blue skin, numbness, poor coordination, slurred speech.
The approaching storm will dump as much as 12 inches of snow in midcoast and southern areas, with lesser amounts to the north and east. Winds with gusts of up to 25 to 35 mph will result in blowing and drifting snow, and greatly reduced visibility.
- Travel is strongly discouraged. If you must travel, keep emergency supplies in your car such as flashlight, food and water.
- Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, including plow trucks. “Please don’t crowd the plow”.
- Check 511Maine for road conditions: http://www.511maine.gov or dial 5-1-1
- When you head out after the storm, be aware the snow banks will block your view at intersections. Use extreme care.
- Be careful when shoveling snow. Over-exertion can bring on heart problems or back injuries. Use your snowblower safely: ...more from Safety Works, Maine Department of Labor
- Protect yourself from the extreme cold by dressing for the season, wearing several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing, rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- Make sure outside vents for heaters and stoves clear of snow, as clogged vents may also pose carbon monoxide dangers.
- Help dig out fire hydrants and storm drains in your neighborhood.
- Clear snow from house and barn roofs and watch out for snow falling from roofs. Protect outside oil tanks from falling snow and ice.
- Look around for neighbors and friends who may need help to clear steps, driveways and roofs.
The National Weather Service has posted a Coastal Flood Advisory for York and Cumberland Counties through 3:00 pm today, with a Coast Flood Watch in effect Thursday evening through Friday afternoon.
Minor coastal flooding is possible around the time of high tide today and Friday, a combination of the approaching winter storm and astronomical high tides. High tides will occur late this morning, around midnight and then midday on Friday.
York and Cumberland County coastal residents should be aware of the flood threat, especially in areas that are prone to flooding. Areas farther along the coast may see some splashover as well. Emergency managers will be monitoring low-lying coastal areas for flooding and are prepared to restrict access to dangerous areas or take other protective actions if needed.
- Report any flooding to local authorities
- Respect all access restrictions to coastal areas