Here are some cold weather closings and announcements as of noon Saturday -- a hodge-podge of news releases and announcements, in addition to what the P-B has already run...lotsa public meetings and other events also are postponed or cancelled, obviously:
Union Prairie Lutheran Church (Lanesboro) is canceling Sunday School and worship on January 5.
Henrytown Lutheran Church is canceling Sunday School and worship on January 5.
Pastor Paul Thompson
MEDIA RELEASE CONTACTS:
Date: January 3, 2014 City of Rochester Emergency Management
Ken Jones (507) 328-2824
Olmsted County Emergency Management
Captain Kevin Torgerson (507) 273-5224
Extreme Cold Advisory
On Friday, National Weather Service (NWS) La Crosse held a severe weather briefing on the life-threatening cold air and wind chills heading toward the area for Sunday night through Tuesday. This is extremely cold air, in combination with winds of 10-25 mph, making for historically cold wind chills near -50F. The last cold spell of this magnitude was February 1996. This severe weather event is different due to the strong winds producing dangerous wind chills that haven’t been seen in twenty years.
This Wind Chill Warning means that exposed skin is subject to frostbite within 10 minutes or less. Take precautions when walking outdoors to cover exposed skin even for a few minutes. If driving and mechanical problems occur, remain in the car and call for assistance. Check on vulnerable and elderly family, friends and neighbors. Remember to shelter farm animals and pets where possible.
Olmsted County and City of Rochester Emergency Management and Public Safety agencies have briefed response organizations to respond in a coordinated manner, and will monitor further developments with the National Weather Service.
Alliant Energy reminds customers to play it safe during cold weather
Bitterly cold weather exposes unsafe practices to stay warm
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – January 3, 2014 – Cold weather is nothing new for Alliant Energy customers. Even so, the forecasted temperatures this week are a little extreme, so Alliant Energy reminds customers about some common safety tips to help keep customers warm and safe during the cold stretch.
The threat of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is typically highest in the winter, even more so when the temperatures dip so low. Exposure to carbon monoxide happens when heating equipment malfunctions. It’s important to know CO is a deadly, odorless, colorless and tasteless gas. Only a special CO detector can alert you of a problem. These detectors should be installed on every floor of a home or business, and especially near bedrooms.
“Because the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic those of the flu without a fever, victims often don’t realize the cause of their illness,” said Richard Sublett, Senior Manager of Natural Gas Compliance and Operational Performance. “Headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and shortness of breath are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have these symptoms after being in an enclosed area, get fresh air immediately and seek medical attention. Be sure to tell your doctor that you may have CO poisoning.”
CO can also fill your home if you warm your car up in the garage, or even halfway outside the garage. Commonly the exhaust containing carbon monoxide fills the garage and doesn’t dissipate, forcing it into the home.
Don’t use a cooking stove or a grill, either gas or charcoal, to provide heat in a home, garage, or fishing shack. Do not use a fuel-burning space heater in an enclosed space without proper venting.
Make sure your natural gas appliances or equipment are installed, maintained and used properly and safely. Throughout the year, regularly clean or replace filters in your furnace or space heater. With a furnace and water heater running overtime, condensation can form ice and block the vents located on the top or side of your home. Chimneys and sidewall vents must be clear to allow proper venting, which prevents accumulation of carbon monoxide or equipment malfunction.
You can find more information on CO and other safety topics at alliantenergy.com/safety.
Xcel Energy is ready for dangerously cold weather
MINNEAPOLIS – With dangerously low temperatures and wind chills in the Upper Midwest forecast, Xcel Energy today assured customers that its electricity and natural gas systems are prepared to handle the cold and that energy resources are adequate.
“Xcel Energy has been investing more than $1 billion a year in its Upper Midwest system, upgrading and replacing infrastructure to ensure we can provide reliable service even during periods of extreme weather and high demand,” said Dave Sparby, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company.
“In addition to making sure the system is in good shape, we’ve also ensured we have enough electricity and natural gas supplies to meet customers’ needs,” said Mark Stoering, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Wisconsin, an Xcel Energy company.
Due to expected high demand for natural gas, Xcel Energy is asking the nearly 600 business customers in Minnesota and North Dakota who participate in Interruptible Gas Rates programs to reduce natural gas usage beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday. Customers in these programs have agreed to cut back on usage at the company’s request in exchange for reduced rates year-round. A decision on whether the 250 program participants in Wisconsin and Michigan also will be asked to reduce usage is pending.
“We will be closely monitoring our electricity and natural gas systems during the weekend and early next week to respond quickly should any service disruptions occur,” Sparby said, noting that extra workers will be in the field, in site offices and on call to respond to any electricity or natural gas outages.
“We urge our workers, customers and anyone who might need to be outside in this extremely cold weather to take every precaution to remain safe,” Stoering said.
Should an electricity outage occur, customers can get updates on the Outage Map at www.xcelenergy.com. For safety tips, go to Winter Safety, Natural Gas Safety, or Electricity Safety.
2nd Annual Meeting of PEN Members -- RESCHEDULED 1/14
(Rochester) Tuesday, January 14, 2014
As I am sure you have heard, the Governor has canceled school for Monday and is keeping an eye on Tuesday's forecast as well (and many local districts have already announced a two-hour delay Tuesday). So PEN is rescheduling our Monday program – our annual member meeting.
The session will now be held on Tuesday, January 14th and the session will be a luncheon session from 11:30am - 1:00pm. Please note there is a room change as well. This session will now be held in Room HS (Health Sciences) Room 128. This building is still on the main UCR campus. You can find a map to RCTC/UMR at http://www.rctc.edu/campustour/.
We hope that you are still (or now) able to attend as we are looking forward to seeing you! Thank you and please stay warm and safe!
Due to the predicted cold weather and wind chills for Monday, January 6th, Quilters' Sew-ciety is canceling both their day and evening meetings. Please watch for the next QS newsletter for guild related announcements.