MOUNTAIN AREA – With temperatures expected to continue below freezing for the next three nights, it’s still not too late to insulate exposed plumbing and execute other measures to keep the disaster of burst pipes at bay.
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind advisory for the foothills and an official wind warning for Yosemite National Park, where power lines could go down. Oakhurst residents are looking at a low temp tonight of 24 degrees, and Yosemite tonight will be a frigid 15 degrees.
Residents who have not already done so are reminded to take precautions such as wrapping exposed metal or plastic pipes that carry water, since water expands when it freezes and can cause pipes to break. Pipes that are prone to freeze include outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines and water supply pipes in unheated areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages and kitchen cabinets.
Red Cross recommendations are to drain water from pools and sprinkers, drain and remove hoses, close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs, and open outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Exposed water pipes can be wrapped with special tape and insulation, or by using as little as 1/4 inch thickness of newspaper for short periods of time. The organization also suggests letting the cold water drip slightly from the faucet served by exposed pipes, since even a trickle of water running through pipes can help prevent them from freezing.
Nighttime low temperatures in Oakhurst are expected to bounce back up to a balmy 35 degrees by Friday.
For more information on preventing freezing pipes, and how to thaw frozen pipes, visit the Red Cross website.