According to Dare County Emergency Management, Dare County has been placed under a WINTER STORM WARNING that will be in EFFECT FROM 3 PM WEDNESDAY TO 1 PM THURSDAY.

“A Winter Storm Warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected.  Conditions are now forecast to start with rain tomorrow afternoon turning to snow overnight and into Thursday morning.  Heavy snow should be expected with potential for 2-3 inch accumulations north of Oregon Inlet,” said Drew Pearson, Director of Dare County Emergency Management.

“With the cold saturated surface conditions already in place, travel may become hazardous especially on elevated surfaces/bridges even when temperatures are above freezing during periods of rain.  Plan on wintry travel conditions, including during the morning commute on Thursday. This weather system will move past us quickly but with cold temperatures forecast into the weekend, impacts may linger until we see a consistent warming trend.  As of now coastal flooding is  not expected,” said Pearson.

“If you are out dress warm in layers and remember the hat and gloves.  Keep the pets warm and keep an eye on each other especially those that may not be able to take care of themselves,” said Pearson.

Here are some winter weather safety tips from the Dare County Emergency Management’s website:

  • Slow down and take your time if you must be on the road. Road surfaces will likely develop layers of ice and become treacherous. Low speeds and slow movements will help reduce the loss of traction. Remember bridges will likely freeze before other roadways.
  • If traveling, assure that you take some food and water and a few blankets just in case you do get stranded. If you become stuck in the snow, be careful to assure that the tail pipe is clear of snow so that exhaust fumes don’t build up within the vehicle.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • Signs of Frostbite: Occurs when the skin and body tissue just beneath it freezes. Loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose. What to Do: Cover exposed skin, but do not rub the affected area in an attempt to warm it up. Seek medical help immediately.
  • Signs of Hypothermia: Dangerously low body temperature. Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
  • In the event that power is lost, use alternative heating devices as directed by the manufacturer. Assure that your home has working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • If you use fireplaces, make sure the dampers are open; safety screens are in place; do not use any flammable liquids to start a fire; and do not burn building materials in the fireplace, as they give off toxic fumes.
  • Use candles and oil lamps with extreme caution. Make sure that they are on a sturdy surface away from any combustible materials. DO NOT leave these unattended.
  • Frozen water pipes? Never try to thaw them with a blow torch or other open flame, otherwise the pipe could conduct the heat and ignite the wall structure inside the wall space. Use hot water or a laboratory tested device such as a hand held dryer for thawing.
  • If there is a fire hydrant near your home, you can assist the fire department by keeping the hydrant clear of snow. This will make it easier to locate in the event it is needed.

Generator Safety

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when using generators.
  • Use a generator or other fuel-powered machines outside of the home. CO fumes are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you indoors.
  • Use the appropriate size and type power cords to carry the electric load. Overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires.
  • Never connect generators to another power source, such as power lines. The reverse flow of electricity or “back feed” can electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.