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Freeze warning for St. Charles Parish in effect until Friday Morning

Hahnville – The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for St. Charles Parish effective tonight at midnight through tomorrow, Friday, February 19 at 9 a.m. as temperatures will drop into the low 30s.

Residents are asked to take precautions to limit energy usage to prevent blackouts as well as insulate pipes but not drip water from the faucet; bring pets inside from the cold; cover plants with bedsheets or towels and use best practices with heaters.

Entergy System Limitations

Entergy customers are asked to voluntarily reduce electricity usage to balance demand for power with available supply. Residents are asked to do the following:

  • Lower the central thermostat to 68 degrees and adjust window units accordingly.
  • Use energy-efficient ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate air to help with your comfort.
  • Open blinds, drapes and curtains to let in warmth from the sun during the day.
  • Delay laundry, washing dishes, bathing and other non-essential uses of electricity until this appeal for conservation has ended.
  • Wash clothes with cold water, cook foods at the lowest possible setting and refrain from opening the oven door while baking.
  • Do not allow warmed air to escape from the home.

Water System Freeze Precautions

  • All exposed pipes should be insulated and shielded from the wind. Exposed piping underneath a house or within walls should be protected by draining. Houses on slabs do not need protection if the piping is in the slab. The supply line must be protected by wrapping with insulation, newspaper or old clothing. Plyboard, felt roofing, plastic or cardboard can be used for shielding.
  • To drain piping, close the valve on the water supply line and open all faucets. Draining will only work if pipes slope evenly.
  • When the water supply is to be shut off, the hot water heater must be turned off. The valve on gas heaters should be set to the “pilot” position. Electric heaters should be turned off at the switch box.
  • In order to keep the meter from freezing, the meter box cover must be kept in place with the lid closed.
  • The St. Charles Parish Waterworks Department recommends that water pipes be insulated and shielded from the wind as the primary means of protection and normally advise flushing as a last resort. However, the parish is advising against running water to avoid the loss of pressure and quality in the water system.

Pet Safety

  • Keep your pets inside with you and your family. Under no circumstances should pet cats be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Dogs are happiest when taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time. Do not leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops.
  • If your dog is outdoors much of the day for any reason, they must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow them to move comfortably, but small enough to hold in body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches from the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
  • Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

Plant Protection

  • Make sure plants are well-watered.
  • Add a few inches of mulch to insulate the roots.
  • Cover plants with bedsheets, tarps, blankets and towels.
  • Do not allow plastic to touch the plant foliage.

Heater Safety

  • Place space heaters 3-5 feet from combustible objects like blankets.
  • Plug all heating appliances directly into wall outlets, not power strips or extension cords.
  • Do not use stoves or ovens to heat homes.
  • Do not overfill fireplaces/wood burning stoves.
  • Do not leave candles/open flames (or space heaters) left unattended.
  • Have working smoke alarms in your home.

To report issues or for additional information regarding this weather event, please contact the EOC at 985-783-5050.

For more information regarding St. Charles Parish, please visit our website at www.stcharlesparish-la.gov, Cox Channel 6, UVerse Channel 99, or follow us on Facebook (@stcharlesgov) and Instagram (@stcharlesgovernment).