EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 24, 2013

Dangerous cold keeps region in its grip

The arctic deep freeze settled over Southern New Hampshire and Merrimack Valley yesterday. The high temperature only reached the teens, but it felt much colder.

The National Weather Service issued an advisory warning of “dangerously cold wind chills” through 10 a.m. today that at times would feel like minus 17 in the area stretching across Southern New Hampshire and northeastern Massachusetts.

AtkinsonWeather.com’s Ryan Breton reported a noontime temperature of 14 degrees.

“That’s colder than many locations in Alaska – including Nome (16), Anchorage (28) and Juneau (33),” Breton posted on his website.

The state was weathering the cold.

“There haven’t been any huge issues,” state emergency management spokesman Jim Van Dongen said.

New Hampshire officials were monitoring the conditions, but no emergency shelters had opened, he said.

Utilities weren’t anticipating trouble.

“They have enough resources to keep going,” Van Dongen said.

Windham fire Chief Tom McPherson said there hadn’t been a need or any requests to open a warming shelter in town thus far.

“We are ready to do so if needed,” he said.

McPherson was urging a common sense approach for town residents.

“I would recommend limiting your time to be outside when all possible and if unable, to dress warm, and in layers,” the chief said.

Red Cross of New Hampshire spokeswoman Lisa Michaud seconded that advice.

“We are asking folks to think ahead, have generators, wear layered clothing, have their skin covered and limit their exposure to the cold,” Michaud said.

The Red Cross had not had to open shelters yet, she said.

The Salvation Army of Derry also was ready to help if needed.

“At this point, we haven’t had any issues,” Lt. Chris Williams said. “We are available to do a warming center if the need arose.”

Williams encouraged people to be safe if they must use electric space heaters.

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