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Bracing for frigid temperature blast
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The area is already seeing the effects of the frigid winter temperatures caused by a blast of Arctic air moving into north Georgia. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Frigid weather tips from the American Red Cross

• Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.

• Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia, including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering.

• Watch for symptoms of frostbite, including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

• Don't forget your pets. Bring them indoors.

If they can't come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

• Avoid frozen pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.

• Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.

• Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.

• If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable - such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs - at least three feet away.

Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.

• If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

• Use generators correctly. Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.

• Don't hook a generator up to the home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.


North Georgia is bracing for extremely cold temperatures, most likely the coldest the area has felt since last January.

With lows in the teens predicted for Thursday morning, forecasters say the wind chill factor will make it seem even more blustery.

While there is little possibility for any winter precipitation accumulation, first responders suggest taking a few steps to prevent disaster that could come along with the extreme temperatures.

"If you have not already done so, start today and make efforts to protect pipes, outdoor plants, winter proof your automobiles and animals and dress yourself and children accordingly," said Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford.

According to the National Weather Service, a frigid arctic air blast is moving into Georgia with freezing temperatures filtering in as early as Wednesday morning.

Thursday morning is expected to be the coldest, with low temperatures ranging from the single digits in parts of north Georgia to teens and the low 20s elsewhere.

Highs on Thursday will struggle to be above freezing for most of north Georgia.