Area cities prepare for freezing conditions

– With some of the worst winter weather to hit the region in years on its way, area cities are preparing for the worst.

High temperatures are expected to be in the 20's with gusty north winds of 20-30 miles per hour that will possibly drop the wind chills below zero by Friday morning. In addition, a chance for light rain will be possible Wednesday evening.

The City of Greenville reports its sand spreader is operational, fueled and ready for service, as well as all other necessary equipment. City personnel have also been notified to be available after hours or during the weekend.

The City of Paris will open the emergency operations center beginning Thursday morning and assess the situation as it develops. City crews are also taking steps to address ice on streets and to respond to an increase in the number of broken water mains that usually accompanies extreme weather. The Lamar County Chapter of the American Red Cross is also monitoring the situation and has contingency plans in place to open up to three shelters if necessary.

Residents are urged to plan and prepare by wrapping exposed pipes, protecting plants and shrubs, checking and providing shelter for outdoor animals. It is also a good idea to stock up on extra batteries for flashlights and radios and to have a small supply of water and ready-to-eat foods in the event of an extended utility service interruption.