Frigid temperatures to hit valley

CHAD PLAUCHE-ADKINS The Marietta Times This golden retriever may need the salt cleaned off its paws after its Thursday evening walk in Marietta.

Temperatures are expected to hit the single digits in the Marietta area by Sunday for the first time this winter.

The National Weather Service’s forecast for Marietta on Sunday shows an expected low of 5 degrees. The forecast high temperature for Monday is only 19 degrees. With such frigid temperatures expected, area business and local government organizations are offering suggestions on how to keep the arctic chill at bay and keep people and property safe.

A problem for homeowners during frigid weather is water pipes freezing and bursting, said Marietta Water Supervisor Jeff Kephart.

“People can take precautions to make sure it doesn’t happen,” he said. “People can let their water drip out of faucets so the water is constantly moving in the pipes, making it harder to freeze.”

Experts recommend letting water drip from multiple faucets or at least from the one that’s the farthest away from where the water enters the home.

Kephart also said people need to monitor their water meters as well.

“If they are in a pit outside the home, make sure the pit is well insulated,” he said.

Kephart said if the pipes burst at the meter, the homeowner is responsible for the repair.

“The city only fixes pipes up to the shut-off valve,” he said.

Denise Hanson of DMG Auto Repair on Pike Street said having a well-maintained vehicle in single digit temperatures can prevent breaking down in harmful conditions.

“You’ve got to make sure to check the antifreeze in your car,” she said. “Also make sure your tires have good tread and are properly inflated.”

Hanson said the colder temperatures can wreak havoc on a vehicle’s electrical system.

“Make sure your battery is charged before driving,” she said.

Hanson also suggested having an emergency roadside kit in your car with blankets to ensure people can stay warm in the event of a breakdown.

Sgt. Kelly McGilton, dog warden for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, said to make sure pets in the neighborhood are safe as well, especially if they are kept outside.

“Animals should be able to get out of the elements,” she said.

McGilton said a dog house can keep dogs warm if precautions are made.

“Pack the dog house full of straw from top to bottom,” she said. “The dog will burrow in to keep warm. The smaller the dog house the better the dog stays warm.”

McGilton said if a person sees a doghouse with snow or mud inside of it or sees an animal shivering outside, it should be reported to her.

“If people need straw to pack their doghouses, just give me a call and we will bring it to you,” she said.

McGilton also said that people should clean their dog’s paws after giving them a walk in winter conditions. She said if salt used to de-ice sidewalks isn’t pet friendly, it could irritate and burn the pads on the animal’s paws.

McGilton can be reached at 740-373-6623, ext. 4021.

If people decide to avoid the cold as much as possible and stay inside, Russ Cogswell from Apex True Value Hardware said there are measures people can take to make their home warmer and more efficient.

“People probably do weather stripping the most,” he said.

Cogswell said the tape-like foam goes on the edges of doors and windows in order to keep drafts from outside to a minimum.

A quick fix for people wanting to get warm is a portable heater, Cogswell said. The heaters are good for heating small areas if used with caution.

“Unvented heaters work well to heat up the individual rooms people are in,” he said. “But you shouldn’t use them when you’re sleeping.”

Cogswell said ventless portable heaters do have the possibility of starting a fire if left unattended.