City urges residents to take precautions for extended period of sub-freezing weather
The National Weather Service (NWS) Austin-San Antonio reports the coldest air since 1989 arrives by Sunday night, Feb. 14. Wind chills may be below 0 for a few by sunset and bottom out between 0 and -15 degrees area wide. Here are recommendations for dealing with extended sub-freezing temperatures.
Protect water pipes
The City of Round Rock encourages residents to protect pipes during freezing weather.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
The City strongly recommends residents and businesses turn off their irrigation/sprinkler systems to avoid damage and freezing due to the cold temperatures. Runoff from sprinklers causes hazardous conditions on roadways.
Reduce electricity use
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking consumers and businesses to reduce their electricity use as much as possible Sunday, Feb. 14 through Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Here are some tips to reduce electricity use:
- Turn down thermostats to 68-degrees.
- Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
- Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
- Avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).
- Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
- Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
Report power outages to Oncor. The City does not operate an electric or gas utility.
Stay off roads
Residents are urged to stay home due to hazardous road conditions, particularly on elevated roadways and bridges. If you must drive, please drive with extreme caution, slow down and leave plenty of room between yourself and other vehicles. City crews have been pretreating bridges and certain roadways for ice as conditions allow.
For transit service users, some CapMetro services are experiencing delays. Learn more.
FEMA has a great deal of information here on preparedness for freezing weather. In addition to pipes, protect pets and plants. The City also recommends going to WarnCentralTexas.org to sign-up for emergency alerts if you have not already done so.
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Source: City of Round Rock