GREENSBURG — In maritime parlance, the coming weekend is looking like a time to “batten down the [winter] hatches” – if, that is, you haven’t already gotten a jump on things following Thursday’s snowy sample of what’s predicted for the weekend.
With some 3-to-6 inches already on the ground in Decatur County, the next few days are predicted to be brutal. As of this writing, overnight low temperatures on Thursday were predicted to fall to five degrees – and that’s mere a taste of what’s predicted over the next few days.
Both the National Weather Service and Daily News partner WISHTV 8 predict temperatures will steadily decrease through the weekend, bottoming out on Monday with a high temperature of -5; that’s right: A high temperature of 5 degrees below zero. Meanwhile, some 10 inches of additional snowfall is forecast for Saturday and Sunday. Winds are expected to reach top speeds of 25-miles-an-hour, making for wind chills of 30-to-40 degrees below zero.
Such conditions will make travel extremely hazardous; area motorists could easily find themselves stranded in the snow in subzero temperatures and bone-chilling winds. Decatur Countians who depend on electricity to heat their homes could find themselves without power and heat for an extended amount of time.
Decatur County Emergency Management Agency Director Rob Duckworth advised Decatur Countians to assume they’ll find themselves in just such a predicament and to prepare accordingly.
Extreme-winter-weather preparedness, Duckworth said, starts with awareness. The Decatur County Sheriff’s Department, the Greensburg Police Department and the EMA have devised a travel alert system that’s designed to make motorists aware of “the true hazards that await them on treacherous winter roads.”
The system starts with a “yellow alert,” which is a warning of hazardous conditions and a reminder to motorists to drive with extreme caution. The next level is an “orange alert,” which calls for “essential travel only.” The highest alert on the scale is “red.”