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Bundle up! Freeze warning issued for Big Bend counties

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Posted at 3:15 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 15:15:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for several Big Bend counties ahead of cold weather expected to start Tuesday night.

The following counties are covered by the NWS freeze warning: Calhoun; Central Walton; Gadsden; Holmes; Inland Bay; Inland Dixie; Inland Franklin; Inland Gulf; Inland Jefferson; Inland Taylor; Inland Wakulla; Jackson; Lafayette; Leon; Liberty; Madison; North Walton; Washington.

The temperature is expected to drop into the upper 20s to lower 30s Tuesday night as areas of clear sky and light wind, plus an infusion of cold air, create a chilly setup for Wednesday morning.

Due to the anticipated weather, the City of Tallahassee is urging citizens to take precautions.

To avoid water pipes breaking due to frigid air, utility customers are advised to run at least one faucet in their home or business at a thin stream to allow water to flow through the pipes. This lowers the risk of broken water lines during freezing conditions. 

Officials also warn that when pipes break between the water meter and the home or within the home, the customer is responsible for repairs. The city only repairs any damage to pipes between the water main under the street and the meter, or in the main itself.

They say citizens might see water trickling out of spigots in area parks and public spaces. But don't worry, this is part of the city’s cold-weather plan to prevent or minimize issues caused by the cold. Do not turn it off. 

The City also offered these additional tips during a hard freeze:

  • Insulate all outside pipes with cloth or a similar material to help prevent freezing. All piping in attics, including those to water heaters, should be protected as well.
  • Check to make sure the cover to your water meter fits tightly. If your pipes do freeze, you can use the valve inside the meter box to shut off all the water to the house, helping to prevent indoor flooding when pipes thaw.
  • If you have a backflow assembly on your water service line, it, too, may freeze with very cold temperatures. Insulate the assembly properly by wrapping or covering the pipe. Do not cover the bottom relief opening on the underside at the middle of the apparatus to avoid creating other flooding problems.
  • Commercial water customers should also wrap any fire lines in their buildings. Disconnect any outside water hoses from spigots, as water trapped inside can freeze and crack the hose.
  • The Tallahassee Fire Department advises residents be extra careful when using supplemental heating units. Make sure all combustible materials, such as drapes or chairs, are at least three feet away from any heating unit.
  • To reduce the chance of fire, avoid using flammable liquids to start fireplaces and do not leave a fireplace unattended. Most importantly, check your smoke alarm to make sure it is working properly.
  • If you are cold outside, your pet is, too. Tallahassee Animal Services recommends bringing outside pets indoors during cold snaps, especially at night when temperatures dip to their lowest.
  • The Tallahassee Police Department recommends that you check in on neighbors and family members who may be more susceptible to cold weather conditions, such as the elderly or disabled. If you are unable to reach them, TPD will conduct a welfare check for you. Simply call the Consolidated Dispatch Agency at 606-5800 to request the service.

City of Tallahassee customers can also call 891-4968 for utility service needs.