HAZARD—Frostbite—not usually a concern for those living in the Eastern Kentucky coalfields; however, as temperatures plummeted early Monday morning and snow fell across the region, frostbite, along with loss of power and icy roads, were on the minds of nearly everyone.
Temperatures fell below the teens in many communities in Perry County, with the wind chill factor bringing that down even further to make it feel well below zero. As of 11 a.m. Monday, over 1,100 people were without power, 588 of those were in Perry County.
This storm comes just days after another massive winter storm hit the region last week, dropping as much as four inches of snow and ice in some places in Perry County.
Only one accident had been reported to the Hazard Police Department Monday morning, and none had been reported to the Perry County Sheriff’s Department; compared to last week’s numbers of well over a dozen single and multi-car accidents.
Many school districts across Eastern Kentucky decided to cancel classes for Monday in the early evening hours Sunday, some even, reportedly, already cancelling classes for Tuesday.
With temperatures projected to remain at such a frigid level, officials are urging people to bring all animals indoors and to find adequate shelter to avoid the risk of hypothermia, which occurs when the body’s temperature falls too low to be able to function properly.
To prevent hypothermia, those having to be out in the elements should be sure to wear appropriate clothing, avoid consuming alcohol if you will be outdoors, stay as dry as possible, and should take frequent breaks to warm up if working outside.
Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, slowed breathing, cold, pale skin, lethargy, and an altered speech pattern.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.