Leon County preparing for winter storm

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
January 2, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- With Winter Storm Warnings in place for most of the WCTV viewing area through Wednesday, Leon County officials are taking steps to help prepare residents for the cold weather.

Leon County issued the following news release on Tuesday afternoon:

Early Wednesday morning, Leon County will experience the first significant weather storm since January 2014. Citizens are urged to prepare as temperatures drop below normal.

Because of forecasted periods of frozen precipitation, the National Weather Service encourages drivers to slow down and use caution on the road. Leon County Public Works will be applying sand to bridges to keep drivers safe.

As freezing temperatures move through our area over the next few days, citizens can receive emergency information by visiting the Leon County Emergency Information Portal at www.LeonCountyFL.gov/EI or downloading the Leon County Citizens Connect App in the App Store and on Google Play. Additionally, the following preventative actions can be taken:

To protect your home plumbing:
• Before freezing weather, allow a slow trickle of water to flow from both hot and cold faucets on exterior walls.
• Insulate all exposed water pipes outside the home with a cloth or similar material to help prevent freezing. All piping in attics, including those to water heaters, should be protected as well.
• If a water pipe freezes, never try to thaw it with an open flame or torch.

To protect your landscaping and garden before a hard freeze:
• Water your plants the morning before the predicted freeze. Moist soil retains heat better than dry soil.
• Put frost protection blankets on in the afternoon. Use a two-layer blanket system. First use an insulating layer against the plant. This can be a frost-cloth, a sheet, blanket or even an old tarp. On top of that put a layer of plastic.
• Do not use plastic alone to cover plants as the plastic may freeze to the plants. A light bulb may also be placed under the sheets to give additional heat. Make sure to remove the plastic and the light bulb the next morning.
• Be sure to uncover the plants the next morning before they overheat. If the freeze lasts for more than a day, just crack open the covers to let them breath during the warm part of the day.

Additional tips for a hard freeze – about 26 degrees (F) or below for more than two hours:
• Bring pets indoors, especially at night when temperatures dip to their lowest.
• Keep combustible materials at least three feet away from space heaters and never leave them unattended.
• Install smoke detectors and remember to replace batteries every six months.
• Avoid using flammable liquids to start fireplaces and do not leave a fire unattended.

Local school districts are also closely monitoring the situation and making announcements about closures. For a complete list of school closures, click HERE.

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