The National Weather Service in Blacksburg has issued a series of urgent weather alerts to citizens in Southwest Virginia, warning that “the combination of cold air and wind will drive wind chill readings down to below zero Monday night into Tuesday morning.”
Included in the wind chill alert are the Virginia counties of Tazewell, Smyth, Bland, Giles, Wythe, Pulaski, Montgomery, Grayson, Carroll, Floyd, Craig, Alleghany, Bath, Roanoke, Botetourt, and Rockbridge. The West Virginia counties of Mercer, Summers, Monroe, and Greenbrier were also included.
Weather forecasts for the week show that lows for many parts of the region could drop to 0°F even before wind chills are factored.
With sustained temperatures dipping into the single digits nearly every day this week, and expected to only top above the freezing point on Wednesday, it is feared that many homeowners may experience water pipes bursting from the immense pressure caused by frozen water inside the lines.
Emergency officials are urging the public to take precautions, which include wearing appropriate clothing when outdoors. Such low temperatures have the potential to be very deadly as frostbite and hypothermia are real dangers.
Elsewhere in our region, wind chills are forecasted to reach -20°F in portions of West Virginia.
Individuals should bring pets indoors and avoid any skin contact with the outside elements. Residents are being urged to lookout for their neighbors, especially the elderly and handicapped.
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