Cold Blast Creates Dangerous Conditions, Closes Businesses

Updated: 12/29/2013 10:39 PM
Created: 12/29/2013 5:47 PM
By: Laurie Stribling

Just two days ago, Canal Park was packed; Sunday the Lakewalk was empty.

The about 40-degree temperature drop closed Bentleyville, Spirit Mountain and the Bayfront Ice Rink Sunday.

The chilly weather is also causing some injuries.

"Yesterday, I did see several people who have slipped and fallen and broken their bones, so that's definitely a risk right now," Dr. Cynthia Haensel, M.D. said.

Haensel works in the emergency room at St. Luke's. She said people need to be careful of slippery sidewalks when temperatures drop.

"We see a lot of people with...broken bones, sprains, ankle sprains, wrist sprains form catching yourself on your outstreached hand," Haensel said.

Also as busy as emergency rooms are homeless shelters.

"We're full and we continue to be full," Harbor House Crisis Center Executive Director Barbara Certa-Werner said. "We're seeing a little bit of an increase on the calls for people looking for a shelter."

While people are a big concern in sub-zero temps, don't forget about man's best friend.

"Just like humans, they can get frostbite," Cody Anderson, with the Human Society of Douglas County, said.

Anderson said they only let the dogs outside a few times a day when the weather is this cold.

"This winter has been a lot of inside for the dogs and that's really tough on them being locked up all the time," Anderson said.

Whether you're watching out for your pup, or yourself, doctors say protection is key.

"If you're going to be outside definitely bundle up," Haensel said. "This month we have seen several people with hypothermia, as well as frostbite, so its definitely a risk."

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