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Hagerstown copes with cold

Temperature drops to 11 degrees

January 04, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Morgan Seal adjusts the coat on her new cocker spaniel puppy named Lady outside their Cascade home on Wednesday.
RIC DUGAN

HAGERSTOWN — James Barnes of Hagerstown, a worker for Flagger Force worker vehicle escort service, was directing traffic on West Franklin Street Wednesday while the temperature was below 20 degrees.

“I can't wait until summertime,” said Barnes, who said he got into his truck to warm up whenever possible.

“We try to wear as much warm stuff as we can wear, and once it gets warmer we just peel it off,” he said. “But lately, there’s been nothing peeling off.”

Norman Watts said cold weather is easy to deal with if proper precautions are taken.

“It’s not bad if you dress warm and keep on layers of clothes,” he said. “If you get an early start you can work your way into it.”

Watts, from Annapolis, was cleaning a sewer line on West Franklin Street in Hagerstown Wednesday. He said he finds ways to keep warm while working.

“Every few minutes you can take a break and change your gloves,” he said. “It’s brutal, but it’s something you can deal with.”

The temperature in Hagerstown dipped to 11 degrees at 2:11 a.m., and the wind-chill factor was 3 degrees at 12:11 a.m. Wednesday, according to local weather observer Greg Keefer’s website at www.i4weather.net.

Hagerstown’s high was 26.6 degrees at 3:53 p.m.

Funkstown resident Howie Weeks, owner of Crenshaw’s Auto Repair in Hagerstown, shut the garage doors in his shop Wednesday so he and his workers could keep out the cold.

“We’d expect temperatures to drop like this because it is winter time,” he said. “I try not to do any work outside.”

Antonio Bellassai, 25, who was running errands for his landlord Wednesday afternoon, said he hates walking in the cold.

“It’s after you go numb when you’re all right,” he said. “I walk everywhere, and the cold doesn’t help.”

Potomac Edison spokesman Todd Meyers said there are ways for people to save energy but still keep their homes warm when the weather turns frigid.

Energy can be saved just based on where you set the thermostat, Meyers said.

“Sixty-eight degrees is a good benchmark, and if you are leaving the house for more than a few hours, you could set it to 58 degrees,” he said. “It'll keep the pipes safe and can cut your heating bill by as much as 10 percent a year.”

Meyers also suggested cleaning furnaces; closing drapes and curtains at night, but opening them during the day; closing doors; closing heat registers in seldom-used rooms; and properly insulating homes.

Meteorologist Heather Sheffield of the National Weather Service said that the temperature should warm up as the week goes on.

Wednesday would “probably be the last day of cold temperatures,” Sheffield said. “There’s a slight chance of scattered snow showers overnight, but it should warm up later this week.”

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