Eight inches or more is expected in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.
Officials warned residents to be prepared for the single-digit wind chills and temperatures headed this way.
“Ponds will be icing, animals need to have shelter, and most importantly, a heightened awareness of heating safety is evident,” said Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency Director Troy Spence.
National Weather Service meteorologist George Mathews explained the impending weather event will grip the South and many other parts of the Mid and Eastern states.
Temperatures will dip to 10 degrees or lower by Tuesday with dangerous, blustery winds associated.
“People will be getting creative with heat sources,” said Mathews, who works from the NWS Morristown office. “We need to get the word out about the dangers of space heating. People will be trying to find ways to stay warm.”
“Neighbors need to check on each other,” Spence said.
The danger of carbon monoxide poisoning comes from those who may try to use camp stoves or barbecue grills to supplement heat. Officials warned this is a dangerous practice.
Local fire chiefs remind residents to remember the “three-foot” rule, which is formulated to keep heat sources at least three-feet from combustible materials.
If kerosene heat is used, make sure the unit is cooled before refueling and always have a fire extinguisher in proximity while the duty is being performed.
According to Spence, links for safety and preparedness tips are available by visiting the CBCEMA website at www.bradleyco.net and clicking on links.
According to Mathews, the temperatures will be below the freezing level for over 60 hours.
This will cause water pipes to freeze, ponds (especially along the edges) to begin freezing, snow and gusty winds could cause trees to fall, interrupting utilities and hosts of other issues, according to Mathews.
“Warn children about the dangers associated with ponds and thin ice,” he said.
Frostbite in single or low-teen temperatures can occur within minutes.
Hypothermia can set in, especially in the elderly or younger generations.
If travel is necessary, prepare vehicles for the onset of the frigid temperatures.
Mathews said today would be a good day to make sure antifreeze is checked in vehicles and a preparedness kit such as blanket, snacks, water, plenty of fuel is stocked.
The Center for Disease Control suggests replacing windshield wiper fluid with a winter blend, which contains de-icing components. Check air pressure in tires as well.
According to Mathews, Tuesday morning’s low temperature is expected to be around 7 degrees, setting a new low from 9 degrees which was set in 1970.
Wind chills Monday through early Wednesday will be -5 to -15 degrees.
CBCEMA and all emergency agencies as well as utilities and road crews will be monitoring the event, according to Spence.