Winter Storm Inga Update
Chapel Hill is cleaning up after Winter Storm Inga dumped more than 6 inches of snow on the town. Public Works crews are focusing on clearing Town-maintained streets, bridges, overpasses and trouble spots. The NC Department of Transportation is focusing on the five major roads through Chapel Hill (Franklin Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard/Columbia Street, Fordham Boulevard, Manning Drive, and South Road/NC Highway 54).
Meeting cancelations: Wednesday's Chapel Hill Town Council regular business meeting is canceled. Wednesday's Chapel Hill Cultural Arts Commission meeting is canceled. The Meet the Author Tea scheduled for Thursday has been canceled and may be rescheduled for a later date.
Town facilities will be closed on Thursday. This includes Parks and Recreation facilities (including the Aquatics Center on Homestead Road), the Chapel Hill Public Library and other public-facing facilities.
Keeping an Eye on Winter Storm Track
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Town of Chapel Hill officials continue to monitor the forecast for Wednesday afternoon and evening. While major impacts due to weather are not expected, Town staff is taking necessary preparation steps and encourage you to do the same.
“The current forecast models are showing the precipitation will likely stay east of US Highway 1,” said Barry McLamb, the Town’s emergency management coordinator. “The biggest concern in our area are the continued cold temperatures. Limit your outside exposure and dress in layers when you need to be outdoors. If we do receive any winter weather, it is likely to stick. Bridges and overpasses will see the first impact."
The National Weather Service in Raleigh is forecasting daytime highs in Chapel Hill in the low- to mid-30s for the remainder of the week; overnight lows are forecast in the teens and as low as 10 degrees Friday night.
“If you can’t bring your pets inside, make sure they have blankets or hay to help keep them warm and check often to make sure their water is not frozen,” said McLamb.
White Flag Shelters
Local shelters are opening their doors overnight to the home insecure population as “white flag shelters” due to the extreme temperatures.
The Interfaith Council (IFC | ifcweb.org) offers shelter for men at the Community House (phone number 919-967-1086) and for women and families at the HomeStart women and family shelter (phone number 919-932-6025).
Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it
- It can be caused by exposure to cold air, water, wind or rain
- Loss of dexterity without protective clothing in water temperatures between 32.5 and 50 degrees can occur in less than two minutes up to five minutes
- Exhaustion or unconsciousness can occur in water temperatures between 32.5 and 50 degrees in less than 15 minutes up to 60 minutes
- For more helpful tips, visit cdc.gov/phpr/documents/hypothermia-frostbite_508.pdf.
The Chapel Hill Fire Department reminds everyone to be very careful, as fire can strike without warning and without mercy. Check batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Turn portable alternative heaters (such as space heaters or kerosene heaters) off when you go to bed or leave the room.
- Do not use the kitchen oven range to heat your home. In addition to being a fire hazard, it can be a source of toxic fumes.
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home. These devices can cause unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.
More fire safety tips: townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/News/News/11810/22
Know Winter Weather Terms
- Watch: a winter storm is possible; stay tuned to local and social media for tips and updates.
- Advisory: conditions are expected to cause major delays and may be hazardous; use caution.
- Warning: a winter storm is occurring or will occur soon.
Winter Storm Tips
- Prepare for possible power loss: add warm clothes to an emergency kit, check flashlight and radio batteries, charge (and keep charged) mobile devices, fill car fuel tank, get emergency cash (ATMs may not work in a power outage).
- Stay tuned to local and social media for updated weather and travel information.
- Dress warmly for the cold. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
- Only use generators in open areas away from windows and home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not burn charcoal indoors.
- Keep alternative heating sources and fire extinguishers on hand. Be sure your family knows how to use them.
- Bring pets/animals inside and make sure their drinking water is not ice.
- Always keep at least a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food in your home.
In the event of a winter storm, visit townofchapelhill.org/emergency for more helpful information and links.