Frosty temperature break records in Atmore, south

Published 3:01 pm Monday, December 11, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
Atmore and the surrounding area reached record lows this weekend that dated back more than a 100 years ago.
Many area temperatures were in the low 20's Friday, with wind chills in the teens and afternoon highs only reaching in the upper 40's.
The entire area was under a weekend freeze warning as the Saturday morning temps dipped into the 20's.
But as weather in the south so often does, forecasters are calling for the weather to rebound with much warmer air next week.
With the drastic change of temperatures for the area, residents are filling up, and covering up in an attempt to protect against the frigid air.
"We have been staying busy with everyone getting their tanks filled," an employee with South Alabama Gas said. "We have been pretty steady all along for the last couple of months with the cold weather. Everyone wants to keep their propane tanks full."
Atmore Utilities superintendent Tom Wolfe said that the city shouldn't have any problem with the recent drop.
"We have plenty of gas on hand for the cold weather," Wolfe said. "The price is a little lower than last year, but it is still not as low as we would like to see it. And as for the water system, the cold really doesn't affect it that much. It has to get down in the single digits before we have a problem."
The risk for house fires also increases during the winter months as residents find alternate ways to keep their homes warm.
Atmore Fire and Rescue Department Chief Gerry McGhee encourages residents to play it safe this winter.
"We are encouraging everyone to get their chimneys checked out and cleaned before using them," McGhee said. "It is important to clean your furnaces before using them as well and it is a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher that is fully charged on hand. Smoke detectors are another necessity in homes or apartments. Make certain that you have several in place and that the batteries are functioning properly. We just really want everyone to play it safe."
Outdoor vegetation also takes a hard hit from the drastic temperature changes. Doug from Central Farm Supply says that there are ways to protect your favorite plants from the freeze.
"Protection from the cold really depends on the type of plant," Doug said. "There are some plants that the frost may kill or some that won't. Most shrubbery are fine in the cold air while plants such as Vinca, marigolds and ferns will not be able to withstand the freezing temperatures. Pansies and snapdragons should fair ok through the colder temperatures. Blankets are good to protect your plants from the freeze. Plastic doesn't always work that well and light bulbs are another good alternative."
The Atmore Utilities Board suggests the following tips to help keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.
attached to the appliance.
contractor immediately.

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