Central Texas braces for a big chill

(Cropped Photo: Greg Palmer / Flickr / CC BY 2.0—MGN/file)
(Cropped Photo: Greg Palmer / Flickr / CC BY 2.0—MGN/file)(KWTX)
Published: Dec. 6, 2016 at 4:24 PM CST
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The arctic cold front that pushed into the region overnight produced wind chill readings in the teens and 20s, but an even colder night lies ahead.

Temperatures will hold steady in the 30s during the day Thursday, but overnight will drop into the 20s and a light breeze could produce single-digit wind chill readings in some places.

The chill will have the potential to burst pipes if precautions such as opening cabinets and wrapping exposed plumbing aren’t taken, forecasters said.

Residents should also take steps to protect outdoor pets and plants.

Those with automated sprinkler systems should turn off the timers in order to prevent icy patches from forming on adjacent sidewalks and roadways.

Friday should be mostly sunny with highs in the mid-40s, but temperatures will drop into the lower 30s Friday night.

Clouds will move in Saturday and there’s a slight chance of rain in the afternoon with highs in the lower 50s.

Saturday night will be cloudy with a chance of light rain or drizzle, but it won’t be quite cool with lows in the upper 40s.

A slight chance of light rain or drizzle continues Sunday morning, but the afternoon should be partly sunny with highs in the mid-60s and overnight temperatures should drop only to around 40.

(KWTX)--The advice from experts? Protect your home sooner than later.

"I mean it is just common sense," Chris Sproles with Central Texas Plumbing Solutions said.

"Just take ten minutes out of your time and do it."

First, disconnect all water hoses from outdoor water faucets and cover the facets with some type of foam insulation.

"Most of the covers are 89 cents or less at Home Depot," Sproles said. "Put it on, and install it on your hose bib. It's very simple."

If you do not cover your outdoor faucets the pipes in your home could freeze and you may not know how much damage there is until a few days later.

"After the freeze is gone or let up, then you have water leaks," Sproles said. "The leaks can be inside or outside and can damage floors, walls, and cabinets."

Pools can also be affected by cold weather. Experts say to keep the pump running so the pipes do not freeze.

Also, do not forget about pets. If possible, bring them inside or in the garage when temperatures drop below freezing, or make sure they have a shelter where they can get out of the wind or rain.

For those looking for a warm place to stay, the Salvation Army Community Kitchen at 300 Webster Ave. in Waco is available as a warming center.  The facility will open at noon Thursday if temperatures don't rise into the 40s.  Free warm meals are available at 5:30 p.m. (Madison Adams)



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