The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

Latest News

January 7, 2014

Deep freeze continues today — SLIDESHOW included

BECKLEY — Kids throughout southern West Virginia can snuggle in bed this morning and enjoy another snow day, but it’s too dangerous to build a snowman in the arctic-like outdoors, National Weather Service meteorologists said Monday.

School is closed for Fayette, Nicholas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Raleigh and Summers counties today, along with St. Francis de Sales Catholic School in Beckley, thanks to a blast of cold that was expected to leave Beckley with a high of 8 degrees today and a wind chill factor of up to 30 below zero.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO ...

Raleigh Local School Improvement Council and administrative offices are closed today, and a two-hour delay has been called for Fayette schools Wednesday due to the extreme cold front moving through the region.

NWS meteorologist Phillip Manuel of the Blacksburg office said folks in Greenbrier, Summers and Monroe counties would wake up to temperatures of 5 to 15 degrees below zero, which feels like 25 to 35 degrees below zero. “A ski slope might not be a good place to be this morning,” he said.

“If you’re out in the exposed wind, that’s pretty wicked,” he said. “That is a dangerous cold, and it wouldn’t take you long to freeze to death in that sort of cold, if you weren’t prepared for it.”

The higher you get, Manuel explained, the colder the air feels, due to the wind.

“I wouldn’t recommend going up to Snowshoe this morning,” he remarked.

Temperatures tonight will be around 3 degrees in Beckley and remain in single digits Wednesday morning.

The good news, according to Manuel and NWS meteorologist Joe Merchant in Charleston, is that things can only get warmer.

On Wednesday, temperatures could be back up to 32 in Beckley while Lewisburg residents could even see the mercury hit 40.

By Thursday, the cold front should be out of the region, with more seasonable temperatures returning.

Outside of a few flurries, no precipitation is forecast today or Wednesday, meteorologists added.

Merchant said, despite some flurries that hit the region, playing outdoors isn’t advisable.

“You really don’t want to be outside for more than a few minutes in this type of weather,” he said.

Besides, he added, the snow is too dry to build snowpeople.

“I don’t think the snow would be very good for that,” he said. “A snowman would be tough.”

- - -

The weather impacted the travel plans of would-be fliers around the region Monday.

At Charleston’s Yeager Airport, all flights to Chicago and Washington-Dulles were canceled Monday, along with one flight to Atlanta.

Flights to Atlanta and Washington-National were delayed due to weather.

More information is available on Facebook, where flight updates are posted on the “Yeager Airport” page.

At Raleigh County Memorial Airport, all morning flights were canceled. The Raleigh airport has air service to Washington-Dulles.

Greenbrier Valley Airport in Lewisburg reported that both of its Silver Airways flights — to Atlanta and Washington-Dulles — were canceled Monday due to weather.

Spokesman Jerry O’Sullivan said while he was optimistic that flights would be on schedule today, he was making no guarantees.

“They should hopefully be back (Tuesday) but definitely Wednesday,” he said.

- - -

Also in such cold weather, experts remind everyone to check on elderly family members and to bring in pets.

Ghent Fire Department Chief Rick Morrison said another safety concern in cold weather is the use of auxiliary heat sources such as “space heaters.”

“You have to be extremely careful,” Morrison said. “Put them in the middle of the floor, away from anything that can combust.”

He said the heaters should only be used in a well-ventilated area.

“We really recommend not to use them at all,” he added. “But we know there’s times it becomes necessary.”

Extension cords that get too hot can cause fires, too.

Morrison said that the “skinnier” extension cords should not be used with space heaters, recommending instead the use of thicker cords that are designed to carry more amperage.

- - -

Finally, for those in rural regions who raise chickens, keeping the birds warm is also important.

According to www.extraordinary-ordinary.net, chickens should have plenty of straw, wood shavings or sawdust, and owners should ensure their water doesn’t freeze.

Coop keepers may place a garage lamp or heating lamp (around 40 watts) in the coop. Frostbite is a possibility, so the site recommends checking birds and beaks regularly.

Finally, chickens should be fed more, and cracked corn is a good food for chickens in winter because it causes the birds’ body heat to increase, experts reported.

— E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • Alpha announces intention to lay off 1,100 surface miners

    Alpha Natural Resources said Thursday it expects to lay off 1,100 workers at 11 southern West Virginia surface coal mines by mid-October, citing dismal markets and federal regulation.

    The announcement dealt another blow to Appalachia's iconic, but dwindling, fossil fuel industry. The company said 2015 industry forecasts show Central Appalachian coal production will be less than half of its 2009 output.

    It's due to a combination of familiar factors, Alpha said: competition from cheaper natural gas, weak domestic and international markets and low coal prices.

     

    July 31, 2014

  • Justice mines have violations in 5 states

    A West Virginia coal billionaire has more than 250 pending violations at mining operations in Kentucky and four other states.

    July 31, 2014

  • VA Greenbrier clinic to remain closed

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Greenbrier County Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain closed due to ongoing correction of environmental concerns. 

    July 31, 2014

  • prezarrested.jpg Protesters arrested at UMWA Rally in Pittsburgh

    After marching from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to the William S. Moorehead Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 15 United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders were arrested.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Mercer shooting sends one to hospital

     One person has been shot following an apparent altercation in the Montcalm area of Mercer County.

    July 31, 2014

  • UMWA1.jpg More than 5,000 protesting new EPA rules at rally

    Today, 73 buses will bring miners and UMW members to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for a labor rally and march through downtown Pittsburgh.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Kroger restricts pseudoephedrine sales in state

    Supermarket chain Kroger is tightening monthly purchase limits of cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine at its West Virginia stores.

    July 31, 2014

  • ‘Biscuit guy’ makes his mark with anthem at TWV

    The old saying “being at the right place at the right time” couldn’t be more true for Calvin Alexander. Thanks to a salad dressing bottle (and some impressive vocal skills), Alexander was invited to sing the national anthem not once, but twice, at Theatre West Virginia before the opening of “Hatfields and McCoys."

    July 31, 2014

  • legion American Legion posts plan to merge

    To help deal with its decreasing membership numbers, Beckley American Legion Post 70 is planning a merger with Post 32. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • legal Tort reform group brings message to Beckley

    How can West Virginia create more jobs and have a better business climate, at no cost to taxpayers? Greg Thomas, executive director of the West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA), says legal reform is one of the answers to that question.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo