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Check on your neighbors

It doesn’t take a newspaper or a weather report to state the obvious — it’s cold.

If all the indications are to be believed, the next few days are going to be a lot colder than usual. This week is promising to be especially rough thanks to the natural phenomenon known as the polar vortex, which is pushing cold air from the far northern latitudes down into the U.S.

Granted, we don’t have it as bad as the folks in the Midwest. Temperatures dipping well below 0 degrees are something we in Beaufort County thankfully don’t see all too often.

Locally, the high tomorrow is set to hover in the mid-30s, with temperatures not breaking into the 50s again until later in the week. Lows each night are projected to drop well below freezing.

So it’s cold. So what?

While you might be weathering the cold just fine, your neighbor might not. Maybe they couldn’t pay the electric bill this month, or couldn’t quite afford that heating oil refill. Maybe their HVAC system is on the blink, and they’re bundled up in blankets and relying on whatever heat they can find.

The best thing we can do is to check on our neighbors, especially the elderly and those who have children. Make sure they have heat and are staying warm through the cold spell.

If you’re in the position of being cold and without heat this week, there are a number of places to turn. Assistance may still be available through the Department of Social Services, The Salvation Army and the City of Washington. Beaufort County Emergency Services also has some emergency heaters available. Those in need of emergency heat can call 252-940-6517.

So check on your neighbors, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. No one should have to go to bed cold in Beaufort County.