Weather affecting municipal services, senior center closed

A wind chill warning prompted Chester and New Cumberland city councils to postpone their Monday meetings and Hancock County Senior Services to announce that services will be suspended through noon Wednesday.

In addition, the City of Weirton’s Public Works Department has rescheduled its garbage collection for much of the week.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning through 10 a.m. Wednesday, meaning wind chills will be minus 20 to 30 degrees today and minus 15 to 25 tonight.

Chester City Council has rescheduled its meeting for 6 p.m. Jan. 13, and New Cumberland City Council has rescheduled its meeting for 1 p.m. Jan. 13.

Weirton’s garbage and recyclables collection for today has been rescheduled to Wednesday, with other collections also moved back by one day. For additional information on the garbage schedule, residents should contact the Public Works Department at (304) 797-8540.

There also will be no garbage pickup today in Follansbee because of the cold and because the landfill serving the city will be closed. Instead Tuesday’s garbage routes will be collected on Wednesday and if needed, Thursday.

In addition to announcing a temporary suspension of services, Senior Services Executive Director E. Mark Knabenshue said senior citizens should take extra care in such cold temperatures.

To stay warm, he said, dress in layers, wear a hat, cover skin with a scarf or knit mask, wear mittens and drink plenty of liquids (but no alcohol).

Seek medical attention, he said, in the event of symptoms such as confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering, which may be signs of hypothermia.

Also, watch for symptoms of frostbite, including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness or waxy feeling skin, Knabenshue said.

To avoid frozen pipes:

Run water, even at a trickle;

Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing; and

Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night.

Bob Fowler, Brooke County director of emergency management, said emergency shelter is available to any resident with heating issues by calling (304) 737-5002.

In a related matter, Fowler said public service districts serving unincorporated areas of the county have asked that residents leave their faucets on enough to allow a small drip of hot and cold water to deter water lines from freezing.