Closings/delays for Thursday, January 18
City administrative offices and the Customer Service Center will open at 11 a.m. Wilson Transit will not run today. Environmental Services will not run routes on Thursday. Trash and recycle pickup will resume on Friday.
Wilson is expected to received two to three inches of snow starting on Wednesday morning. Travel will be treacherous throughout the day on Wednesday. City crews will begin clearing streets as soon as we can safely do so.
Preparing for power outages
Widespread power outages are not expected as part of this storm, if precipitation falls as mostly snow. We encourage everyone to be prepared just in case of a power outage.
- Please report any Wilson Energy outage by going to www.wilsonnc.org/outage via a smartphone or other device with a data plan. You will need to know the phone number associated with the account or the account number. You can also use that webpage to see where other outages have been reported on our system.
- Wilson Energy customers may also call 399-2444 to report an outage.
- Keep a battery-powered radio, flashlights and a supply of new batteries on hand in case of an emergency.
- Have extra blankets available.
- Maintain a supply of drinking water on hand – at least one gallon per person per day, plus extra for pets.
- Keep a supply of non-perishable food items and a manual can opener.
- Turn lights and appliances off to prevent overloading circuits once power is restored.
- If you lose power, keep faucets dripping to prevent water pipes from freezing.
- Check on elderly or disabled friends and neighbors.
- Never use a charcoal grill inside your home to cook or heat. Burning charcoal creates carbon monoxide gas which could lead to death.
- When using a generator, please follow all safety precautions including disconnecting your electric service to protect yourself and Wilson Energy crews.
Tips for protecting water pipes
- When temperatures are very cold, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage. Try to keep crawl spaces and vents closed, particularly in areas where pipes could be exposed to cold air.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, keep the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions.
- 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. If the water cannot be shut off, consider installing a faucet cover or even wrapping the hose bib in a towel.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, 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.
- If you think that your pipes have frozen, please contact the City of Wilson dispatch at 296-3403 during the day, or 399-2424 at night to have your water valve shut off. This may prevent a high water bill from an uncontrollable water leak, including your backflow preventer. This will allow your plumber to assess the concern and provide any necessary repairs.
Protect pets from extreme cold
Animals don’t tolerate freezing temperatures any better than people do. The U.S. Humane Society offers this advice:
- Keep pets indoors and warm.
- No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet’s life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.
- Take precautions if your pet spends a lot of time outside. Outdoor animals must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
- Pets who spend 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.
- Warm engines in parked cars can attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
- The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.
- Avoid antifreeze poisoning. Wipe up spills and keep antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach.