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Niagara County public health director urges caution during winter weather advisory, wind chill watch

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Tue, Jan 29th 2019 04:00 pm

Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton urges residents to use additional caution if outside today through Friday, and to be prepared for cold temperatures. He said, “The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory effective Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 4 p.m. until Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 1 p.m. for Western New York; and a wind chill watch remains in effect from the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 30, through the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 31, for Niagara County. Along with expected lake-effect snow, dangerously cold wind chills – as low as 25-below zero – are possible.”

Advisories may be extended or changed.

Stapleton recommended minimizing outside activities and staying informed on weather conditions. He said, “Anyone who must be outside, even briefly, should dress appropriately, covering all potentially exposed skin, and be aware of the potential for hypothermia and frostbite.”

A chart from the National Weather Service states that, at a wind chill of 25 degrees below zero, frostbite can happen in 30 minutes. At wind chills at 40 degrees below zero, frostbite can happen in five minutes. Symptoms of frostbite include skin that has become numb, white or discolored.

Older adults and children can be at most risk of hypothermia. Hypothermia symptoms include:

  • Shivering, exhaustion
  • Confusion, fumbling hands
  • Memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness

If one sees symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite, call 911 and follow instructions, or go to the emergency room.

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