Wood County expecting early morning snow Wednesday

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: We were just provided (at 5 p.m.)  an update of the strong storm system moving through the Ohio Valley tonight and tomorrow morning.  The storm is taking a slightly more northerly track which could push measurable snow up into the Wood County area Wednesday morning.  Up to 2” of snow is possible through Central and Southern Wood County with 1” or less expected in Northern Wood County.  Some areas near Fostoria in Southeastern Wood County could see slightly higher amounts in the morning. This is not a big snow maker, but we have not had measurable snow in several weeks so please allow extra travel time in the morning and use extra caution when traveling for the Wednesday morning commute.

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Senior center to open as ‘warming center’ Saturday

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   After driving slick roads to deliver hot lunches to local seniors, Denise Niese found herself Thursday evening at Gordon Foods stocking up for some unscheduled guests this weekend. For the first time in 17 years, Niese, director of the Wood County Committee on Aging, is preparing to open the Wood County Senior Center as a warming station for local senior citizens on the weekend. “It’s the first time that I’ve been here that it’s been this cold for this long,” Niese said after she wrapped up her grocery shopping. The senior center, at 305 N. Main St., Bowling Green, has been opened in the past as a cooling center in the summers when the heat index reaches 100 or above. But when Niese returned from delivering meals on Thursday, she was approached by several people at the senior center about opening the facility up on Saturday as a warming station. The center is normally closed on the weekends. Niese agreed and went a step further. “I asked them what they wanted for lunch,” she said. So after work, she was at the grocery getting ingredients for stuffed pepper soup, “real potato soup,” grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies. “I’ll be peeling potatoes tomorrow,” Niese said. She has no idea how many seniors to expect. “I am planning for 50.” Normal lunch time at the senior center on weekdays draws about 85 people in search of a hot meal, conversation and maybe a game of cards. The weather this week cut that number to about 60 each day. The senior center also delivers approximately 550 meals a day to seniors’ homes throughout the county. “We’ll get all the meals out this week,” Niese said. While the staff delivers the meals, they also make sure the seniors have their “shelf meals” that were dispersed this fall, and can be eaten if the power goes out. They also make sure there are a couple frozen meals that can be warmed up in the microwave…

Bitter cold takes toll on city workers and equipment

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green residents count on city workers to plow snow off the roads, respond to car crashes, and keep the power on during winter weather. Doing that in bitter cold weather takes a toll on city equipment and on the people that operate it. Snow plow blades are more likely to break in this cold, police cruisers have to run continuously during shifts, and fire hoses have been known to freeze. “We subject our officers to being out in the elements for extended periods,” Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. That’s tough on people and patrol cars. Layering only does so much, and “they run constantly in the cold,” the chief said of the police cruisers. For the Fire Division, the frigid cold means EMS crews must move even faster for outside calls. “We need to move quickly to get patients out of the elements,” Fire Chief Tom Sanderson said. Firefighting is especially tricky in freezing temperatures. “We have to keep them flowing,” Sanderson said of the hoses. But that means the ground quickly gets covered in ice. The city’s public works department often spreads salt at winter fire scenes to try to give firefighters and their vehicles some traction. “We haven’t had to chisel our fire hose out of the ice yet this week,” Sanderson said. Public works crews face their own problems, with the extreme cold taking a toll on equipment, according to Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter. Snow plow blades tend to break very easily, she said. And trash containers become increasingly brittle and are more prone to breaking, she added. The city utilities department recommends its consumer-owners take the following precautions to help prevent water lines and meters from freezing this winter: Protect exposed pipes from cold air drafts by closing and sealing windows and openings in basements or crawlspaces. Protect your water meter by wrapping it with insulation or a blanket. Provide proper insulation for walls and pipes where necessary. If your water meter is in the garage, take…

Light snow & frigid temps in the forecast for Wood County

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: A “clipper” type storm system will move just to our south tonight and into the early morning hours of Saturday.  The heavier snow bands will stay well south of Wood County; however, light snow will fall across Wood County tonight as a result of this storm system.  2” or less will fall across the area by Saturday morning which is enough to make roads slippery once again, so please use extra caution when driving tonight and early Saturday morning.  3” – 5” of snow will fall across west central and central Ohio with this storm system if you plan on traveling south tonight or tomorrow.  Those areas are under a Winter Weather Advisory.  Very cold arctic air will once again move into the area behind this storm system creating a dry but very cold New Years weekend.  Please check on elderly neighbors, pets, and other functional needs people this weekend as temperatures plumet below zero once again.

How to protect people, pets and pipes against the cold

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   We might as well get used to it. The cold dipped down to minus 4 degrees early this morning, and temperatures aren’t expected to get to 20 or above for another week. For some, the frigid temperatures are more than a cause for discomfort. The brittle cold can lead to burst pipes, frozen paws, frostbitten fingers and car problems. Some professionals in Bowling Green accustomed to dealing with the complications of cold weather offered some advice on how to protect people, pets, pipes and vehicles during these frigid temperatures. First, how people can prevent harm to themselves … “I wouldn’t be out more than a half hour at a time,” said Kevin Hosley, registered nurse at Wood County Hospital Emergency Department. And bundle up. “Any exposed skin should be covered.” People with lung problems or the elderly should avoid being out in this brittle cold, Hosley added. The most serious risk to humans is hypothermia, when the body’s temperature drops dangerously low, said Alex Aspacher, community outreach coordinator with the Wood County Health District. “Basically, your body starts to lose heat faster than it can replace it,” Aspacher said. One symptom of hypothermia is confusion, so “somebody might not know they have it,” he added. Hunters and homeless people are susceptible, but in these frigid temperatures some people are at risk even if they aren’t outside. Especially vulnerable are babies or older people in very cold homes. “Older people lose body heat faster” and babies aren’t able to generate heat the way others can to keep themselves warm, Aspacher said. If hypothermia is suspected, the person’s temperature should be taken. If below 95 degrees, 911 should be called, he said. Any wet clothing should be removed, and the person should be placed in a warm room and bundled in blankets – an electric blanket if available. The other risk with the cold is frostbite, when skin is exposed, commonly on the face, hands and feet. Aspacher explained that in frigid weather, the…

White Christmas in the forecast

A white Christmas is possible based on a weather updated from Bradley Gilbert, Wood County EMA director. Gilbert reports: “Two storm systems will impact our area this weekend.  Both will bring a chance of accumulating snow.  The storm tracks have shifted slightly since last night. “Details are as follows: “A storm system will move to the southeast of NW Ohio late tonight into Saturday morning.  Snow on the northwest side of the storm will just barely impact Wood County bringing a dusting of snow to around 1” in some areas (especially southeast Wood County) by mid-day Saturday. “Another storm system will impact NW Ohio Sunday afternoon and evening.  Snow accumulation on Sunday will be 1” – 3”.  Christmas day will start out cloudy with some areas of sunshine by late morning and into the afternoon with colder temperatures.” Arctic cold will settle into the area for Tuesday through most of the week.

Wood County to get as much as four or more inches of snow

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: “A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Wood County until midnight tonight.  Stronger areas of snow have been developing across Northern Indiana over the past couple of hours and should be into the Wood County area around 5:00 – 5:30 p.m.  There will be periods of moderate snowfall with some periods of light to no snow in between snow bands through about 10 p.m. this evening.  The NWS is forecasting 3” – 4” across the Wood County area this evening with pockets of slightly higher amounts possible depending on where stronger snow bands move across the county.  If you have to travel this evening, please slow down and use extra caution as roadways and visibility may be challenging at times through the evening.”