Crossroads prepares for more cold weather
By BY NICOLE COBLER -
Jan. 6, 2014 at 5:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 5, 2014 at 7:06 p.m.
With temperatures expected to hover in the low 20s Monday night, Crossroads businesses spent the day helping prepare for the cold weather.
They reminded residents to protect their pets, pipes and plants as the temperatures dropped to an estimated 22 degrees.
The cold weather moved in Sunday night. The area remained under a freeze warning until 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
Keep pets warm
Melodie Griffith, volunteer at the Calhoun County Humane Society, said the shelter received help from people in Calhoun County and surrounding areas to keep dogs out of the cold.
Beginning Saturday morning, 60 dogs were put in temporary foster homes.
"That's a lot of dogs that had to be inside, and the community and surrounding area responded well," Griffith said. "They're my heroes."
Several families decided to care for the dogs throughout the cold spell. Two dogs were adopted, Griffith said.
Five large kennels were donated to the humane society, which went next door to the city's animal control to keep its dogs inside.
Griffith said 15 people also donated crates, wire kennels, blankets and towels to the humane society shelter.
The humane society has experienced an increase in the number of dogs coming in because of the cold, Griffith said. About 15 dogs were brought in by their owners in the past week.
She said this could be because people feel they can't provide the necessary protection for their animal in the cold.
"If you cannot bring them in, offer them shelter - anything that will contain body heat," Griffith said. "Dogs with thin coats can freeze to death in temperatures like this."
Monday's high temperature was 39, according to the National Weather Service.
Animals find places to hide during the colder weather.
As the temperature drops, cats and other small animals tend to seek shelter under the hoods of cars.
People should tap the side of their cars to scare off any animals hiding in it, Griffith said.
Plants must also be protected in the cold weather.
The first thing is to know what plants need to be covered as the temperature drops, Kevin Brown, owner of Edge Landscaping, said.
The biggest problem in South Texas is people overlook their palm trees.
"People will mistakenly put a frost cloth over the tops of the palm trees as opposed to the base," Brown said.
The base of the palm tree is not cold-weather hardy and needs to be covered with a frost cloth.
"The other trick to frost cloth is getting it off as soon as weather permits."
The biggest problem Brown's customers have is growing plants that will not thrive in the hot environment as opposed to planting things that will not make it in the cold, he said.
"People have a problem planting things that don't handle the heat well," Brown said. "Anything that can handle South Texas heat is probably going to do well in the winter."
Exposed water pipes, which can also suffer damage during freezing temperatures, need to be protected in cold weather.
Jacob Elliott, owner of Advanced Plumbing in Victoria, said as it gets cold, people should make sure any exposed pipes and hose bibs are wrapped.
"It has to be below freezing for a day or two for a regular pipe to freeze up," Elliott said.
The company has not had calls for frozen pipes in the past two years.
Pipe insulation can be bought at any local hardware store.