As Old Man Winter arrived in North Texas Monday, the National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for Erath County effective through 6 a.m. Tuesday.
Monday’s early morning temperatures were mild, but by 10:30 a.m. strong winds had kicked up and the temperature dropped to 46 degrees.
Other counties in the wind advisory include Comanche, Eastland, Hood, Palo Pinto, Somervell and Tarrant.
Monday’s low is expected to drop to 21 degrees overnight with Tuesday’s high only reaching 42.
Facing the first hard freeze of the season, residents are encouraged to take measures to prevent frozen pipes.
According to State Farm, a 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day.
“According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, claim payments by all insurance companies over the past decade for these kinds of losses have exceeded $4 billion,” an article by State Farm says.
Here are more tips State Farm is sharing to prevent frozen pipes.
Insulate pipes in your home's crawl spaces and attic, even if you live in a climate where freezing is uncommon. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Remember, the more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be. Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the use intended (exterior or interior). Closely follow all manufacturers' installation and operation instructions. Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze. Before temperatures drop, disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house. A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall. Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you're asleep, but further drops in the temperature - more common overnight - could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes. Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls. Your pipes freeze, now what?
What if your pipes still freeze, despite your best preventive measures? First step: Don't panic. Just because they're frozen doesn't mean they've already burst. Here's what you can do:
If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber. Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water. You could be electrocuted. Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house! You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe using a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe. If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it. All information about preventing frozen pipes and what you should do if pipes do freeze was taken from a press release sent to the E-T by State Farm.