WILMINGTON — With a major winter storm expected to bring life-threatening cold, possible power outages, and accumulating snow, officials advise locals to keep an eye on the water and weather this holiday weekend. It was also announced that all county buildings will be closed Friday (today) due to the forecasted inclement weather.
Final Weather Notice
The Clinton County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) put out a final notice indicating a winter storm warning would be in effect from 7 p.m. Thursday until 5 p.m. Friday (today), with a wind chill warning going into effect from 1 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Saturday.
The EMA advises locals that the weather timing and conditions will impact road treatment and clearing, meaning the roads will be hazardous.
The EMA also advises of an “elevated risk of power outages due to strong winds … and risk of minor structural damage. Power restoration times will be impacted by the weather conditions…wind speeds may exceed safe operating limits of bucket trucks for elevated repairs.”
In further winter weather prep, EMA advises locals to take down outdoor holiday decorations temporarily that may present a “missile hazard in high winds.”
In a notice sent to locals, the Wilmington Water Department reminds locals that with the impending polar vortex, to keep an eye out and be proactive in preventing pipes in their homes from freezing.
The water department advises that older homes, in particular with crawl spaces, are “especially susceptible to having pipes freeze.”
The notice indicates freezing pipes often burst and create a potentially “catastrophic situation for homeowners.” The water department offered tips to prevent this from happening. These tips included letting hot and cold water trickle or drip at night from a faucet, open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to uninsulated pipes under the sink or near an outer wall.
“If you plan to be away: Have someone check your house daily to make sure the heat is still on to prevent freezing, or drain and shut off the water system (except indoor sprinkler systems),” the notice states.
If the pipes do freeze, the department advises making sure the residents know where the water shut off valve is.
“Most often, it is near the wall where the water services enter the house. Sometimes, it may be in a utility room,” the notice states.
The water department also emphasizes to never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch, which can result in the building catching fire. It advises using a hair dryer. It also advises being careful of potential electric shocks near standing water.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574