Homeowners prepare for hard freeze

Tucson homeowners prepare for hard freeze

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A Hard Freeze Warning is in effect for Wednesday morning and many homeowners are preparing for the cold snap.

Shoppers went to hard ware stores to buy supplies to keep their pipes from freezing and protect their plants.

“Especially this week has been our heavy heavy week of people coming in and preparing for it," said Mark’s Ace Hardware Store Manager, Kristina Isaacs.

She recommends leaving your facet dripping to prevent pipes from freezing if you don't have time to buy pipe covers.

Homeowners covered outdoor plants with freeze cloths and sheets Tuesday. Gary Stoeger has more than 100 plants in his yard.

Stoeger has lived in Tucson for more than thirty years and said he's learned which plants need protection and which can handle colder temperatures.

“This thing is a survivor and if you don’t cover it, it’ll freeze back to nothing," he said.

This week is the first time this winter Stoeger has needed to cover any of his plants. He said his goal is to keep the plants alive through the winter so that they can bloom in the summer.

“It’s a beautiful reddish blossom and it’s just gorgeous in the summer," he said. "It’s just beautiful, so we keep it enough to just keep the bottom and roots safe.”

Here are a few suggestions for protecting the four P’s:

PEOPLE

  • Avoid leaving space heaters unattended, especially when leaving home.
  • Keep clothing, other fabrics and combustibles away from heaters.
  • Don't use extension cords with space heaters.

PETS

  • Provide shelter and warm bedding for pets or bring them indoors.
  • Keep in mind that smaller dogs are less tolerant of the cold than bigger dogs.
  • And if it is difficult to keep your cats inside your home, at least provide a small shelter where they can stay.

PLANTS

  • Cover plants, preferably before sunset, or bring them inside.
  • Water your potted plants. Soil holds more heat when wet.
  • Plants with fleshy petals retain more water, making them more susceptible to freezing. You can help protect them and smaller plants by draping them loosely with plastic, a sheet, blanket or burlap.
  • Annuals like begonias and impatiens can start having problems at 55 degrees. Cover them with pine straw, bark, leaves or another type of mulch.

PIPES

  • Cover and insulate exterior pipes and faucets to keep them from freezing and bursting.

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