Although South Georgia doesn’t maintain freezing temperatures throughout the winter season, there are spikes of low to freezing temperatures in the forecast that cause some concern for city streets and residential/commercial water systems. The Valdosta-Lowndes County area is expecting a quarter inch of ice and up to one inch of snow over Jan. 2-3.
The City of Valdosta will be open for normal business hours on Jan. 2 continuing to serve citizens.
The City of Valdosta Engineering Department is requesting that city residents turn off their irrigation sprinklers in preparation for the low to freezing temperatures in the forecast for tonight and through the weekend.
“We want to especially avoid any sprinklers from spraying onto city streets, which could ice over during the freezing temperatures and potentially cause vehicular accidents,” said Traffic Manager Larry Ogden.
Residents should also prepare their water systems for the possibility of freezing temperatures. Remember, when water freezes, it expands. Freezing temperatures, even for a short period of time, may lead to fractured water pipes.
The Valdosta Police encourages everyone to drive more careful during the weather event. Stopping distances for vehicles will be effected when snow and ice is present.
The Valdosta Fire Department wants to remind citizens that Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes. Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing curtains, bedding and rugs.
“Even brief spikes of freezing temperatures may cause damage to citizens’ house pipes as well as their pocket books,” said Utilities Director Darryl Muse. “This will most likely not be the only freeze we will get this winter, so now is the best time to prepare for it.”
The Utilities Department offers the following tips for citizens to prevent frozen house pipes this winter.
- Be sure pipes in unheated parts of your home, including crawl spaces, are insulated. Foam insulation for water pipes can be found at any home improvement or hardware store. The foam is typically split down the middle so it can be easily wrapped around the exposed pipes.
- Remove hoses from outside faucets and be sure they are drained and shut off.
- Advise all household members where the main shut-off valve is located in case of an emergency.
- If you will be away from home for an extended time, shut off the water supply and drain the system.
- If you have experienced problems in the past during freezing periods, keep a trickle of water running from the faucet highest in the house. This trickle should be a steady stream the size of the lead in a pencil.
- Insulate or cover exposed backflow prevention devices on fire lines and irrigation systems.
- 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.
- If you have a pool, allow your pool pump to run during hours of extreme cold. The circulating water will not freeze and will prevent costly damage to your pumping and filtering equipment.
- You can also visit: https://www.wikihow.com/prevent-frozen-water-pipes for additional tips on freeze protection.
Citizens who follow these simple winterization tips may prevent fractured water pipes and costly plumbing repairs.For more information, contact the Utilities Department at 229-259-3592.
The following shelters are open on Jan. 2 to those seeking shelter from cold temperatures:
- Grace Fellowship Church 1304 West Hill Ave.
- Salvation Army on Virginia Avenue
- New Horizons 714 Charlton Street