CITY OF MIDLAND: PREPARE FOR THE ARCTIC FRONT
(January 11, 2024)
The City of Midland warns residents to be prepared for the coldest temperatures of the new year.
The National Weather Service in Midland reported Thursday, January 11, 2024, that an Arctic front will cause temperatures to dip into the 20s on Saturday and into the lower teens on Sunday and Monday. Wind chills around 0 degrees are possible.
“Bitter cold wind chills and pipe-bursting temperatures will be possible,” the National Weather Service reported.
City of Midland Utilities Director Carl Craigo stated that with the forecast predicting single-digit temperatures, an unusual and extreme weather event for our city, “we urge all residents to take immediate and proactive measures to protect your home water systems. This hard freeze poses a significant risk of frozen pipes, which can lead to costly damages and disruptions in your water service.”
The NWS also reported it is not known exactly when the front will move into the region and if high or low temperatures will be impacted more than expected.
“For now, wintry precipitation is not expected but can’t be completely ruled out,” the NWS reported.
Cold weather tips
City of Midland tips for preparing home water systems
- Let Faucets Drip: Allow a slow drip from your faucets to keep water flowing through the pipes. This helps prevent freezing. Focus on faucets in unheated areas or those on exterior walls.
- Insulate Pipes: Insulate any exposed pipes, especially those outside or in unheated areas like basements, attics, and garages. Use foam pipe insulation, which can be found at hardware stores.
- Open Cabinet Doors: Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing, particularly if the sinks are on an exterior wall.
- Keep the Thermostat Consistent: Maintain a consistent temperature in your home, day and night. Avoid lowering the heat at night as temperatures will be consistently low.
- Seal Leaks and Cracks: Seal any leaks or cracks in doors and windows to prevent cold air from entering. Pay special attention to areas where pipes run.
- Know How to Shut Off Water: Locate and familiarize yourself with your main water shut-off valve. In case a pipe does freeze and burst, shutting off your water quickly can minimize damage.
- Prepare for Power Outages: In case of a power outage, have an emergency kit ready with water, non-perishable food, flashlights, and blankets.
For Tenants and Apartment Dwellers:
- Communicate with your landlord or property manager about what measures are being taken for your building.
- Follow the above steps where applicable, especially keeping a trickle of water running and ensuring heating is maintained.
- For water emergencies, please contact 432-685-7340
City of Midland tips for pet owners
- As temperatures plummet with the approaching Arctic front, it's crucial to prioritize the well-being of your pets. It is preferable for them to stay indoors.
- For pets that must remain outdoors, ensure they have a warm shelter featuring at least three walls and a solid floor elevated at least an inch off the ground. Provide additional bedding, such as hay, to enhance their ability to retain heat. Diligently check their water bowl to monitoring for freezing. These simple yet vital measures can significantly contribute to keeping your pets safe amid the upcoming cold weather.
From Atmos Energy
Colder weather may impact the amount of natural gas you use. Using energy wisely and making a few household changes may produce a big difference in how much you spend on natural gas and other energy bills. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and conserve energy this winter:
Never use an oven or a gas stovetop to heat your home.
- Protect natural gas meters. Natural gas meters are weather-proof; however, to ensure that the meter keeps working smoothly, remove snow and ice from natural gas meters with a broom or brush. Never kick or chip snow and ice away with a hard object. Call Atmos Energy's Emergency Number, 866-322-8667, if you have concerns about your meter.
- Make sure external vents for dryers and other natural gas equipment are clear. Blocked vents for dryers and other gas appliances can lead to a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide gas. If you have questions about proper venting, contact a licensed plumber or qualified contractor.
- Minimize the risk of frozen pipes. Leave faucets running at a trickle, leave cabinet doors open, and close all doors and windows to keep heat inside.
- Save money and energy by setting your thermostat to 68 degrees during the day and 58 degrees when you are away from home (where safe to do so).
- If you think you smell gas, act fast! Leave the area immediately and from a safe distance call 911 and the Atmos Energy emergency number, 866-322-8667.
- These tips and more are available on our Storm Center page at atmosenergy.com.
Although natural gas outages are infrequent, if you experience loss of natural gas service or low gas pressure, contact the Atmos Energy emergency line at 866-322-8667 – agents are ready to assist 24/7.