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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Riverview Cold Weather More Dangerous Than the Snow


From all accounts, the Riverview community survived the latest blast of snow on January 7th, 2010.

It's what came AFTER the snow that has folks worried.

To see pictures of the snowfall the day after on January 8th in Riverview from Willie Hodges, click here.

A blast of cold air left the community and the area with 0 to 10 degrees, and below-zero wind chill factors.

That left local health officials warning people of the dangers of extremely cold temperatures.

“Winter weather with temperatures below freezing can be deadly, and we want Tennesseans to take the needed precautions to protect themselves from extreme cold very seriously,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper.

In Virginia, Cumberland Plateau Health District Director Dr. John Dreyzehner said prolonged exposure to cold can cause frostbite, hypothermia or even death.

“Persons most susceptible to extreme cold are infants and very young children and the elderly, but everyone should limit his or her time outdoors during extremely cold weather, especially when the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Advisory or Warning,” Dreyzehner said.

And health officials also say cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart, so people who have heart disease or high blood pressure should follow a doctor’s advice about shoveling snow, chopping wood or performing other hard work in the cold.

If you do have to spend time outside during cold weather, the Cumberland Plateau Health District recommends the following winter attire:

• Wear several layers of loosefitting, lightweight, warm clothing. The trapped air between the layers provides insulation. Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded.

• Wear a hat. Half of body heat is lost through the top of the head.

• Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect lungs from cold air.

• Mittens, snug at the wrists, are better than gloves, which allow the fingers to cool faster than mittens do.