Basin residents should prepare for cold weather

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EPHRATA — With the cold finally having arrived, Grant County residents are encouraged to be prepared for the cold and bundle up when they go outside.

“Winds are forecast to gust into the upper-teens, producing significant wind chill, magnifying the effects of cold on people and equipment,” said Ephrata City Manager Wes Crago in a statement aimed at Ephrata residents but timely for everyone who lives in the Columbia Basin.

Ephrata officials often respond “to buildings with frozen pipes in the weather” that could be easily prevented, Crago wrote.

Among ways residents can prevent frozen water pipes, Crago suggested leaving a thin stream of water flowing from every faucet if your home is difficult to keep warm. Crago said the city also recommends additional insulation around any pipes underneath a house and shielding or insulating all outside faucets.

Crago also wrote that misuse of indoor heaters also poses a risk in cold weather, recommending proper space around any heaters as well adequate ventilation for generators, open flames or other possible sources of carbon monoxide.

“Never use a combustion engine or outdoor-type grill inside your home,” Crago wrote.

Crago also recommended residents be prepared for possible extended power outages, keep emergency supplies in their cars in the event they are stranded, and look after neighbors, “especially those that may need extra care during winter.”

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.

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