The threat of a hard freeze is in effect for portions of the southeast, including Arkansas, northeast Louisiana, and central and north Mississippi, according to the National Weather Service.
Recently in Greenville, temperatures have been in the 30s and 20s. There is a hard freeze warning tonight with temperatures expected to reach 20 degrees or lower. Throughout the next week, the probability for widespread hazardous weather is low, but still possible.
Saturday, temperatures are expected to reach a low of 26 degrees. Temperatures will read the 40s and 50s on Sunday through Tuesday, but temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s again by Wednesday.
According to the American Red Cross, there are several precautions to take to keep homes safe from water freezing in pipelines during cold weather events.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines; water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets; and pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
* Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions;
* Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break;
* Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas;
* Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated; and
* Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
* Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing;
* Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst; and
* If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
To keep yourself safe, stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. If you feel too warm, remove layers to avoid sweating; if you feel chilled, add layers. If you must go outside, wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens or gloves and a hat will prevent the loss of body heat.
Also, be sure to check on relatives, neighbors, and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone. If possible, bring pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water.