By Kaitlin Hoskins, News Editor
Etowah County may not have seen the snow it had hoped for with this most recent display of winter weather, but it definitely felt the bitter cold it had to offer.
The area is in for another snap of cold weather on the heels of this past week’s wintry woes.
Forecasts are pointing to another brief dip into low temperatures in the teens Saturday and Sunday, but according to meteorologist Jim Stefkovich with Alabama Emergency Management Agency, warmer weather is coming Monday, January 22.
“High temperatures will rise above free-zing statewide on Sunday but remain well below normal values,” Stefkovich wrote in a briefing on the cold weather. “The good news is we will go into a warming trend beginning on Monday.”
“Temperatures will drop below freezing for all areas north of I-20 between 2 – 6 a.m. Friday,” Stefkovish said. “Any standing water could freeze, especially on bridges.”
Beyond Friday, highs in the Gadsden area for Saturday and Sunday will hover around — or just below — freezing and lows will be in the teens again, with the coldest temperature coming Saturday night and into Sunday morning.
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) is urging residents to take measures to protect their pipes and help conserve water when possible. As an alternative to letting outside faucets drip, the agency suggests the installation of insulated covers.
“Insulated covers are inexpensive, easy to install, and available at home improvement centers and hardware stores,” an ADEM spokesperson said in a statement.
Additionally, if water service is not necessary at a building you manage, consider turning the water off at the meter, draining the water lines at the lowest point on the property, leaving the faucet on and turning water back on when outside temperatures rise above 32 degrees.
“As pipes thaw, the public can help by checking for leaks inside and outside of their homes or businesses,” the ADEM statement continued. “If leaks are found, they should shut off the water supply until the leaks are repaired. Customers are urged to contact their local water supplier if they have a major leak and are unable to shut off their water supply.”
In addition to preparing homes and businesses for the cold weather, the Gadsden-Etowah Emergency Management Agency urges residents to provide adequate shelter to outdoor animals and to check on elderly neighbors to insure everyone is safe and warm. The agency also warns residents about the dangers of carbon monoxide when additional heat sources are used.