WAVE Country trees, cars, houses could be impacted by flash freeze

WAVE Country should be prepared for a flash freeze this weekend.
WAVE Country should be prepared for a flash freeze this weekend.(WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Jan. 18, 2019 at 5:38 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Heavy rains paired with a steep drop in temperature may cause a flash freeze this weekend in WAVE Country.

The flash freeze is expected to happen Saturday night into Sunday morning, with lows in the single digits on Monday, according to WAVE 3 Weather meteorologists. It could impact everything from cars to houses and trees.

Those at J-Town Hardware said when it comes to homes, residents should first try to keep the cold air out of them, and prevent their pipes from freezing.

Workers recommend that if you don’t have a heater near the pipes, to let the water trickle through them, and put a cover over your spigot outside.

They add its also important to unscrew your garden house. That’ll make it so a pipe freeze doesn’t happen as quickly.

“You’ll know it because you’ll lose water immediately, but you wont know if the pipe is busted until it starts to thaw," Brad Carson, a manager at J-Town Hardware and Rental, said. "So, usually, what happens is in the middle of the night, you’ll start hearing this noise when it’s thawed out and that’s when the water is flooding the home.”

Carson said electric heaters are the safest to use, adding you should never use generators inside a house if the power goes out.

The heavy rain could also make the roadways a dangerous, icy place to be.

In additional to hazardous driving conditions, cold air can make it so your car doesn’t run properly.

According to Autotrader, you should be aware that a weak battery in the summer could become a dead battery in the winter.

Also, you should make sure you’re not low on coolant and monitor tire pressure.

The car-centric business states its important to fill up tires with air, if needed, as temperatures drop.

If you do drive with low tires, you could put more wear and tear on them, which could lead to unpredictable handling and an accident.

Carson said J-Town Hardware often sees a lot of interest in drivers buying salt for their own driveways when the weather gets icy.

“We have a lot of rock salt and a lot of sand and things like that," Carson said. "We have tow straps if you happen to get stuck.”

Experts also add it’s important to keep a survival kit in your car if you happen to breakdown.

Those at J-Town Hardware said they’re ready for what the weather brings, as they are fully stocked on the three S’s: salt, sleds and shovels.

The flash freeze on the way could cause problems with trees, as well.

Branches covered in ice knocked down power lines and blocked city streets after a storm last fall in Louisville. Trees with leaves, that had large surface area, caused issues when frozen over with weighed-down limbs.

That may not be an issue in the winter, but business owners said there are still some concerns. The extra weight ice places on weak branches, and dead wood, may cause them to fall.

Those at Louisville Tree Service said that’s especially true during a quick freeze like the one we’re expecting.

To prevent issues, they said it’s best to maintain your trees in advance.

John Ridgill, the owner of Louisville Tree Service, said eight similar weather incidents put strain on trees in 2018.

That creates somewhat of a viscous cycle -- making it so tree businesses have to switch to emergency repair mode, instead of doing regular work that could prevent future tree issues.

“It can really just impact your workflow and trying to do your regular maintenance of your customers," Ridgill said. "So, we really just tell people to be really proactive throughout the year.”

Ridgill said large trees can be pruned every three to four years and smaller ones should be maintained every 12 to 18 months.

Even in winter, he added, if it doesn’t rain or snow for a couple weeks, you should water your trees.

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