KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
February 3, 2022
By Natalie Cook Clark
Less than a year ago Katy, Texas experienced a historic freeze that left many without power and severe home damage. While the forecasted artic front is not expected to be a repeat of Winter Storm Uri, local residents are getting ready for the freezing weather.
Katy experienced a historic freeze in Winter Storm Uri last February. Photo credit: Chris Harris
Winter Weather Advisory Issued for Katy
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Katy, TX starting later today and going through tomorrow morning. Temperatures are forecast to be below freezing in the evenings with wind chills feeling like the teens. Katy could be impacted by a band of light freezing rain and thunderstorms as early as today.
This winter weather event isn’t predicted to be a repeat of last year’s Winter Storm Uri that left many Katy residents without power and home damage due to bursting pipes. This morning is still the best time to prepare for the winter weather coming this way.
“Although a hard freeze of 20 degrees and below is not predicted, preparations for temperatures in the high 20s for an extended period of time may save you time and money in repairs,” says Wendy Duncan, Director of Willow Fork Drainage District.
1. Winter Weather Home Preparation
When winter weather comes, many think of preparing their home. There are simple steps that you can take to prevent a problem.
Open your cabinet doors under the sink- This allows warm air to keep any indoor pipes warm and prevent freezing. Always be mindful of potential under the sink chemicals that could be dangerous to children and pets.
Drip warm water from faucets- This also will protect your pipes but do so sparingly to avoid straining the local water plant.
Wrap your pipes- Secure and insulate all outdoor pipes especially your backflow preventers and vacuum breakers.
Turn your sprinkler system off
Protect your Vehicle- Try to park your vehicles in the garage and make sure you remove items from the vehicles that could be damaged or cause damage during a freeze. Remove electronics, medication, and any water bottles or liquids that could freeze and then leak or burst in the vehicle.
Keep Electronics Charged- Make sure that any needed electronics stay charged. This would give you more time on the charge if you were to lose power.
Protect Plants- Bring pot plants inside or in your garage. Cover plants likely to freeze.
2. New Laws Require Pet Owners to Protect Pets
“With a hard freeze expected over the next couple of days, please remember to protect your pets,” says Harris County Constable Ted Heap with Precinct 5.
New state laws require pet owners to provide shelter for pets during inclement weather such as a freeze.
“Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside,” adds Constable Heap.
3. Be a Good Neighbor
Freezing weather is dangerous for everyone. During such a weather event, take time to check on neighbors especially the elderly that could need assistance.
Katy has seen a growth in the homeless population over the last few years. Hope Impacts, a Katy-based nonprofit is allows taking donations including winter weather supplies.
“We’ve bought a lot of warm weather items and are handing them out along with taking donations,” says Tina Hatcher, Founder and Executive Director of Hope Impacts.
Ramen Noodle Cups
Chunky Soups with easy to open tops
Flavored Chicken or Tuna Pouches
4. Stock Up and Stay Home
When winter weather is here and a freeze could happen, it’s best to try and stay home and avoid getting out. Take stock of supplies at home. Stock up on needed grocery items, medication, baby supplies, pet food, etc.
Take steps to prepare to stay off the roads.
5. Road Safety
When getting out during a winter storm, take extra precautions when driving. Ice can be on the roads and hard to see.
City of Katy and Houston Public Works have already begun pretreating overpasses and roads that routinely suffer from freezes. This won’t prevent all ice and residents should drive with extreme caution during icy conditions.