Another blast of cold air has hit the Cape Region, with temperatures anticipated to dip into the teens Jan. 7.
According to the National Weather Service, cold temperatures and winds gusting to 45 mph will result in bitterly cold and possibly dangerous wind chills of 10 to 15 degrees below zero. A wind chill advisory is in effect through Tuesday, but no precipitation is expected.
The drop into frigid will not last long, however, as highs will climb almost 50 degrees by Friday and nearly 60 degrees by Sunday.
Sussex County residents woke up to 4-6 inches of snow Jan. 3, as Winter Storm Hercules packed a punch that delayed business and closed schools. This round of winter weather is not expected to cause as many problems. Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson said the emergency operations center will monitor the situation, but no shelters are planned.
Immanuel Shelter at Epworth United Methodist Church was not sufficiently staffed Jan. 6, but those in need will be offered motel rooms, said spokeswoman Nan Ruhl. The shelter is expected to fully open Tuesday, Jan. 7.
During the recent snowfall, Ruhl said the shelter served seven people.
“We usually run anywhere from six to 10 people depending on the weather and what's going on in the community,” Ruhl said.
Immanuel Shelter is open Friday through Sunday every week, January through April. It opens on an as-needed basis weeknights when temperatures drop below 30 degrees. For more information, call 302-227-7743.
Matt Likovich, spokesman for Delmarva Power, said the highest demand for electricity is typically summer months, but the company is expecting to see an uptick in power usage. That does not mean outages are likely, he said.
PJM System Operations, which maintains the power grid to which Delmarva Power is connected, is preparing for unusually high usage, said spokeswoman Paula DuPont-Kidd.
“Extreme cold temperatures will challenge PJM and its member companies,” she said. “The cold is expected to push demand for electricity to a new winter record.”
The PJM winter peak record of 136,675 megawatts was set in February 2007, she said.
Likovich said the interconnection with PJM allows Delmarva Power to draw from power sources throughout the region to bolster the energy supply in areas where it's needed. PJM is the electric grid operator for 51 million people in 13 states and Washington, D.C.
“When temperatures are in the single digits and wind chills below zero, PJM and its member companies, like Delmarva Power, ensure that there is enough power to keep people warm,” Likovich said.
Delmarva Power offers advice on preparing for and handling power outages on its website.
Fundraiser for shelter
A dinner fundraiser for the Immanuel Shelter will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Monday, Jan. 20, at Touch of Italy Ristorante, located at 19724 Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach. Cost is $89 per person plus gratuity. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the shelter. For reservations, call 302-703-3090.