Champaign County could see anywhere from 4 to 7 inches of snowfall on top of half an inch of ice, if weather predictions are accurate.
After the snow ends on Friday, bitterly cold and dangerous wind chills are expected to overtake the area.
The storm’s strength is expected to arrive late this afternoon with rain turning to sleet and ice before dumping several inches of snow on top of it all by Friday morning. Power outages also are possible due to the icing of the lines as temperatures fall.
AES Ohio, the electrical service provider for many local residents and businesses, issued the following statement urging residents to prepare for the worst:
“AES Ohio, a subsidiary of The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), is preparing for the possibility of severe weather with freezing rain anticipated to arrive later this week. Our crews are ready to respond if power outages occur.
“AES Ohio is urging its customers to put safety first, be weather aware and avoid unnecessary travel during dangerous conditions. Customers can also plan ahead by creating emergency kits, discussing emergency/back-up plans if they rely on electrically-powered medical equipment and knowing where their fuse boxes or circuit breakers are located.
“Customers can report downed power lines and outages day or night online at aes-ohio.com/outages or by calling 877-4OUTAGE (877-468-8243). Customers can also stay updated on outages and restoration efforts by following AES Ohio on social media.”
For electricity customers in rural areas on private water supplies powered by electricity, it’s recommended to fill gallon-size containers of water prior to the storm. Designate some as potable water and others as non-potable water for flushing toilets and doing other personal hygiene tasks.
Additionally, AES Ohio reminds customers of these helpful winter preparedness tips:
Before the storm:
– Be sure to have your emergency storm kit readily available. Prepare your kit with an emergency radio (battery powered or solar charged), mobile device chargers, flashlights, first aid kit, non-perishable food items, water, face coverings, hand sanitizer, batteries and other necessities.
– Develop an emergency plan that addresses any special medical needs or medications you or your family members have. Call your local emergency management office to discuss necessary arrangements.
– Be prepared. Bookmark the AES Ohio’s Outage Center on your mobile device for quick access to report outages and get updates on our outage map. If your power goes out, report your outage immediately. Don’t rely on your neighbors to report your outage.
If your power goes out:
– Turn off all appliances, including your furnace, space heaters, water heater and water pump. Leave on one lamp to know when power has been restored. That way, you can avoid a circuit overload and another outage that may result when power is restored to all appliances at once.
– Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed. Food will stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if you keep the door closed. A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours.
– Open your blinds during the day, cover windows with drapes at night and gather in a central room where there is an alternative heat source, such as a fireplace. Provide ample ventilation and ensure plenty of distance from your home or work when using portable generators.
– If the indoor temperature drops to 55°F or below, open your faucets slightly so they constantly drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
– Remain patient. Every electric company – including AES Ohio – has a detailed plan for restoring electricity as quickly and safely as possible after a power outage. Typically, one of the first steps a company takes – to prevent injuries and fires – is to make sure that power is no longer flowing through downed lines. Restoration then proceeds based on established priorities.
For more winter savings tips and resources, visit aes-ohio.com/cold-weather-tips.
About AES Ohio
AES Ohio is the principal subsidiary of DPL Inc. (DPL), a regional energy provider and an AES company. AES Ohio, a regulated electric utility, provides service to over 527,000 customers in West Central Ohio. During its long history, AES Ohio has served its customers with the lowest rates in Ohio among investor-owned utilities. Connect with AES Ohio on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Learn more about how AES Ohio is accelerating the future of energy, visit aes-ohio.com/hellofuture