Residents urged to prepare now for winter weather

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

As trucks continue to haul away downed trees and debris left in Hurricane Isabel’s destructive wake, the city’s emergency management coordinator is casting a cautious eye on the coming months.

Although the area is still enjoying a comfortable autumn now, the days when snow and ice dot the Doppler screens are fast approaching.

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Capt. Jim Judkins said that this winter, in post-Isabel Suffolk, residents are likely to experience more frequent, and possibly longer lasting power outages than in the past.

The debris remaining from the September hurricane creates waiting-to-happen power loss situations.

&uot;Those limbs are just hanging there, waiting for the first big wind or some type of storm to either knock them down or weigh them down so heavily with ice or snow that they break,&uot; said Judkins. &uot;In some instances, they will fall onto power lines and we’ll be right back where we started Sept. 19 – the day after Isabel struck – out of electricity.&uot;

Being prepared for extensive outages could save people the headaches and heartaches that could potentially happen if bad weather sends the city plunging into darkness.

&uot;As we experience winter weather with its freezing temperatures and precipitation, we must consider that power outages could create potentially deadly situations,&uot; said Judkins. &uot;Citizens of Suffolk should prepare now for severe winter weather, and have some form of alternative heat source available just in case we loose power for another prolonged period.&uot;