TULSA, Okla. — An early brush with winter is expected for a stretch of mid-November in the Tulsa area, prompting homeowners to be on alert for their plants, pets and pipes.
Low temperatures are expected to drop below freezing at times starting Friday night and will move back and forth around 32 degrees at night throughout the next week.
The City of Tulsa is responsible for clearing snow and ice from the Gilcrease Expressway, L.L. Tisdale Expressway and all arterial (main) streets. Other highway segments in Tulsa are the responsibility of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
The city published the map of its snow and ice routes online.
Plant owners should have already moved sensitive plants indoors before going to sleep the day before temperatures drop below freezing.
Other plants that can't be moved inside can also be covered in a blanket or fabric such as burlap, making sure the cloth drapes all the way to the ground.
Any pets who spend a lot of time outside should be considered for the freezing temperatures as well. Cats and dogs should all be brought inside amid frigid outdoor temperatures.
Temperatures far below freezing during the winter season can also threaten indoor and outdoor water pipes.
The expansion of water when it freezes can break those pipes and cause significant issues for businesses and homeowners.
Here are some tips to protect pipes ahead of freezing weather provided by the American Red Cross:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
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