January 3, 2018 Edition

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Extreme cold hits LawCo.

Northeast Arkansas has been bombarded with non-stop freezing temperatures for several days.

Actual temperatures have been in the single digits at several times during the extreme cold, which were made worse by wind chill causing it to feel even colder.

A National Weather Service wind chill advisory was issued for Lawrence County and surrounding areas Tuesday morning. It stated that wind chills of zero to 12 below zero were expected. In those extremes, frostbite can be contracted in as little as 30 minutes if skin is not properly covered.

The cold has not only been a danger to people outside. As the temperatures drop, the chance of house fires increase. Multiple house fires in Lawrence County have been reported over the weekend.

Residents are urged to have a working smoke detector in their homes. All heat sources, such as fireplaces and space heaters, should have at least three feet of clear space around them. They should also never be left unattended when active. Heaters should also be turned off when residents are asleep.

Water is also a concern in extreme cold. Hoxie experienced two water main breaks Monday and Walnut Ridge Water Service was temporarily interrupted early Tuesday morning.

During freezing temperatures, residents are encouraged to drip water in at least one faucet, with special emphasis on faucets against exterior walls. Opening up cupboards underneath faucets is also recommended so the plumbing may receive more heat from the house.

Special attention should be given to water pressure during extreme cold, as lower pressure could be a sign of a frozen or burst pipe.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are forecast to remain mostly freezing through the remainder of the week with a high on Saturday of 34 degrees. No precipitation is expected until Sunday, when the temperatures are forecast to be in the 40s.

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