Is my school closed? – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
School districts in North Texas are making decisions on whether to tell them to cancel classes Tuesday due to extreme cold, dangerous road conditions caused by an arctic blast and a hard freeze warning.
On Monday afternoon, some universities and school districts such as TCU, Dallas ISD, Fort Worth ISD, Dallas College, Crowley ISD and Kaufman ISD announced their plans for Tuesday while other districts had not yet announced.
Some districts decided to hold classes on a regular schedule Tuesday, including Aledo ISD, Allen ISD, Carroll ISD, Frisco ISD, McKinney ISD, Prosper ISD and Weatherford ISD.
Sunshine and solar radiation contributed to some melting Monday afternoon, but temperatures will remain well below freezing through Wednesday and unless it evaporates it will freeze and could cause additional problems on area roads.
Low temperatures on Tuesday night are expected to reach about 11 degrees. The National Weather Service has issued a hard freeze warning from midnight Tuesday until 10 a.m., and no additional precipitation is expected.
Melting will occur Wednesday when temperatures return to the 40s.
Prepare for cold weather
Prepare your home for winter
Before the cold, replace worn weather strips on doors and windows to ensure a good seal. This will ensure that warm air stays in and cold air stays out. Most modern windows are sealed within the frame, but older windows may be sealed with a glaze that can crack and need to be replaced. The glaze may need to be applied above a certain temperature and will need time to cure – this maintenance is best done in the spring or fall. Finally, check your gutters to make sure they are clean and allow water to flow freely into the downspouts. Clogged gutters can cause water to enter the home. The Texas Department of Insurance also recommends cutting down trees away from power lines, homes and cars and checking the level of insulation in the attic.
Protect your pipes
Most North Texans know how to insulate their outdoor faucets, but if a cold spell is prolonged, it may be a good idea to leave indoor faucets on the outside walls dripping overnight so they don’t freeze. Drip, drip, or drip from running faucets can be annoying if you hear it, so place a sponge or towel in the sink to silently catch every drop. If you’re going out of town for a few days, the Texas Department of Insurance recommends leaving closet doors open so that the pipes on the outside walls are more exposed to the heat. If you have pipes in your attic or crawl space, or any other pipes exposed outside, you’ll need insulation as well. Around those outdoor faucets, disconnect the hoses and isolate the valves. Wrapping the valves with towels is not the best long-term solution. Most, if not all, hardware stores in North Texas sell inexpensive outdoor faucet covers made of foam that easily attach to the faucet bib in just seconds and do a great job of protecting the pipe from freezing. If you suspect a pipe is frozen, leave the faucet open so water can flow as it thaws. Additionally, make sure you know where the main water valve is located (and how to turn it off) in case a pipe bursts.
Bring your pets
Even if you have a pet that normally lives or sleeps outside, it may be susceptible to colds, hypothermia, and pneumonia. The SPCA of Texas says if you’re cold outside, your pet is likely cold, too. Bring pets indoors and make sure other outdoor animals have adequate, dry, well-insulated shelter to protect them from frigid temperatures and possible death.
Protect your plants
Potted perennials should be brought indoors. Plants that cannot be brought indoors should be covered. Sensitive plants can be covered with sheets, blankets or frost blankets that can trap heat. During times of extreme cold, multiple frost blankets can be used. For plants left outside, a day or two before a freeze occurs, Dallas Nursery recommends watering only the soil by hand, keeping the foliage dry, to insulate the plant’s roots. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has more here on how to protect plants from frost and freeze. AgriLife also has tips on how to plant for winter.
Turn off your sprinkler system
You want to turn off your irrigation system for several reasons. The first is that you don’t want it to run on its normal schedule, which could result in water being dumped on the streets where it can freeze and pose a hazard to passing cars. Second, you don’t want to risk any broken pipes or valves that may come with a system that isn’t winterized. To winterize your system, the City of Fort Worth recommends turning off timers and backflow devices, even if you have freeze or rain sensors installed and the main line drained. Any above-ground pipes should also be insulated.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning
Many air filters should be changed or cleaned every three months, or every season. But that’s not the only winterization required for your HVAC system. You should check your ductwork regularly for holes (either caused by vibration or rodents) to ensure that air flow is not interrupted. If part of your HVAC system is located in the attic, it may also be home to rats, mice and squirrels who find the warmth of the unit an ideal place to build a nest.
Even if you have a freeze guard among your pool equipment, you’ll need to take a look at your pump every day to make sure it’s moving water through your pipes. These pipes can also burst if they freeze.
It is always a good idea to have a stock of new batteries in case they are needed for flashlights during a power outage. If you didn’t replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors during daylight saving time, now is a good time to make the switch. It’s also a good idea to make sure your phone is charged so you can access information in a timely manner in the event of a power outage. Having a spare battery or power source to recharge your phone is also a good idea.
(Signs for translation) School closings