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Icy morning chill hits

By JR Ortega
Feb. 9, 2011 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 8, 2011 at 8:09 p.m.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PIPESProtect faucets, outdoor pipes and pipes in unheated areas by wrapping them with rags, newspapers, trash bags, or plastic foam.

Insulate your outdoor water meter box and be sure the lid is on tight.

Cover any vents around your home's foundation.

Drain water hoses and store them in a garage or shed.

Protect outdoor electrical pumps.

Drain swimming pool circulation systems or keep the pump motor running. (Run the pump motor only in a short freeze. Running the motor for long periods could damage it.)

Drain water sprinkler supply lines.

Open the cabinets under the sinks in your kitchen and bathrooms to allow heated air to circulate around the water pipes.

Set your thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees, especially when gone for the day or away for an extended period.

Let indoor faucets drip, but don't run a heavy stream of water.

Make sure you know where your home's shut-off valve is and how to turn it on and off.

If you leave town, consider turning off your water at the shut-off valve while the faucets are running to drain your pipes. Make sure you turn the faucets off before you turn the shut-off valve back on.

If you drain your pipes, contact your electric or gas utility company for instructions on protecting your water heater.

SOURCE: City of Victoria

An 18-degree windchill hit Yadi Rodriguez as she left LongLeaf Coffee in Victoria on Wednesday afternoon.

A strong cold front brought high winds and freezing rain to the Crossroads early morning Wednesday, prompting some early school dismissals and a city keeping a more weather-watchful eye.

With her 2-year-old son, Bradley Rodriguez all bundled up walking by her side, Rodriguez made her way to drop off a steaming cup of hot chocolate for her husband, a mail carrier.

"I like the cold." Rodriguez said. "But I'm trying to not come out."

Rodriguez was also surprised by how cold the weather became - a freezing follow up to last week's cold, icy weather.

Some roadways saw pockets of ice, but for the most part warm ground temperatures kept roads from getting too slick, said Jeb Lacey, emergency management coordinator.

"We didn't have any major issues," he said. "The precipitation wasn't as significant as last week."

Lacey does not expect icy conditions late tonight or in the early morning because the moisture has already moved out of the area, and what remains is a dry cold.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has urged people to conserve energy as much as possible between dinnertime and the early morning hours so that rolling blackouts will not be put into effect, Lacey added.

The Texas Department of Transportation Yoakum District had some icing problems in Fayette and Colorado counties, but no real problems with the counties in the Crossroads, said Marla Jasek, director of operations.

"We have been working all day long," she said. "It looks like we're drying out pretty well. They'll be monitoring."

TxDOT will be monitoring and be prepared with sand should bridges in the Crossroads counties ice overnight, she said.

The air will be dry on Thursday with partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 40s, said Mike Buchanan, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Corpus Christi.

There are no chances for sleet or ice, but overnight lows until Friday night will remain in the 20s, he said.

A hard freeze warning was in effect Wednesday night until 11 a.m. Thursday.

Rodriguez likes her winter weather that way.

"I wish it would be more like this during the holidays," she said.



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