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Posted on: January 14, 2022

Storm system expected; Sheriff Blackwood advises preparation and courtesy

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Forecasters expect a wintry mix of snow and ice to impact Orange County on Sunday during the day and into the overnight hours. Possible accumulations could be as much as five inches. 

If the storm materializes as expected, people are advised to stay home if they can. Doing so reduces the pressure on emergency personnel who will be responding to crashes, downed trees, and to motorists who experience difficulty traveling in the treacherous conditions.

Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said, “This storm is likely to be a brief but intense weather event. The systems that dump snow, sleet, and freezing rain are particularly dangerous. Road conditions vary and catch motorists off-guard. Residential streets might be covered in snow, but more well-travelled roads may be covered in ice, especially on bridges and overpasses.”

Power outages are possible. The Sheriff's Office reminds everyone to consider all downed power lines “live” and to avoid them. 

Residents are always encouraged to be able to be self-sufficient for 72 hours. In advance of storms, it is especially important to:

  • Charge phones, tablets, and laptops. 
  • Replenish your emergency kit with water, non-perishable foods, and medications.
  • Gather flashlights, batteries, blankets, and other supplies and put them in an accessible area of your home before you need them.
  • Fuel vehicles. Make sure generators, chainsaws, and other power equipment are in safe, working order. Find your safety glasses! 
  • If you are dependent on supplemental oxygen, contact your vendor and make sure you have an emergency supply of reserve oxygen.
  • If you are on a well, fill a bathtub with water.
  • Make a plan for pets - make sure they can stay warm and maintain access to fresh (not frozen) water.
  • Keep generators and grills outdoors and be very cautious with any open flame source (candles, lanterns, camp stoves, etc.)

Said Blackwood, “When the weather clears and you are able to move about, be sure to clean snow and ice off your vehicle. Many crashes result when people only clear a small porthole on their windshields. Also, remember to clean off your roof, trunk, and hood. If you do not, sheets of ice and snow are likely to peel off as you drive and land on the vehicles of other motorists, potentially causing crashes, injury, and property damage. Please be safe and considerate.”

We will post updates about road conditions and power outages on our Facebook page.

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