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Heading out to celebrate New Year’s Eve? Beware of the bitter cold and dangerous wind chills

December 31, 2018

Bitter cold and dangerous wind chills are in store for New Year’s Eve, according to an advisory from the National Weather Service office in Valley.

The forecast called for an arctic cold front to slam into the region Monday. It’s expected to be accompanied by a wintry mix of freezing drizzle, light snow, gusty winds and plunging temperatures.

Dress warmly if you’re going to be out on the town Monday night for New Year’s Eve. Strong northwest winds will be gusting at 15 to 25 mph, said Scott Durgan, a weather service meteorologist.

“That wind will bring wind chills down pretty close to zero,” Durgan said. “New Year’s Day is not going to be the day to take down your Christmas lights.”

With winds gusting up to 40 mph, wind chills are expected to bottom out at 10 to 20 below on New Year’s Day. The temperature is expected to start out at about 5 above and reach a high of 15, Durgan said.

Here’s what you need to know about New Year’s Eve events and how to handle the expected cold:

Out in the cold:To prevent hypothermia, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following recommendations: Get people into a warm room or shelter as soon as they start displaying warning signs. Those signs include adults who are shivering, exhausted or confused and infants with bright red, cold skin and very low energy. Dress in warm layers of clothing and eat carbohydrates. Drink warm nonalcoholic beverages and keep your body moving . Remember that alcohol causes the body to lose heat. Get medical attention as soon as possible, if necessary.

Safe Ride Home:

The Omaha law firm of Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop is offering free taxi rides for those who imbibe too much. The rides are available New Year’s Eve from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Cab rides to a person’s home or hotel can start and end only within Douglas and Sarpy Counties. Call 402-215-0167 and be sure to say you are using the “Hauptman O’Brien Safe Ride Home” or the ride won’t be free.

Tow-to-Go:

AAA members and nonmembers in Nebraska and Iowa can get a ride home for themselves and their vehicle when they’ve had too much to drink. The offer is only available within a 10-mile radius from where people are picked up. If outside the restriction area, motorists can arrange to pay for the additional mileage or have their vehicle towed to a safe location. For assistance, call 855-2-TOW-2-GO or 855-286-9246.

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