The impact of impending freezing temperatures

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — KSN Storm Track 3 Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman warns that freezing temperatures could soon be impacting the area.

It’s one thing for freezing temperatures to last a day or two, but Teachman says the incoming weather could be here for a while.

“Cold air is like molasses, arctic air in particular. Once it moves in, it’s very hard for it to move out,” Teachman explained.

Teachman believes these sustained arctic temperatures could be a historic event.

While these freezing conditions affect nearly every part of life, we reached out to experts in plumbing, livestock, and vehicle maintenance to better prepare you for what’s coming.

Watch out for freezing pipes

Mike Wannow, an instructor with Plumbers & Pipefitters Apprenticeship Training of Kansas, says for many living in Kansas, the plumbing in their home is prepared for cold weather because this isn’t new to the Sunflower State, but there are signs you need to pay attention to in case you run into problems.

Wannow says most plumbing issues happen in older homes that didn’t have insulation on the original pipes.

“They just did not insulate back in the day like they do now,” expressed Wannow.

There are some things you can do to help the situation if you live in an older home.

“I strongly advise people to disconnect their garden hoses from their homes,” Wannow added. “The damage that can be caused may not show up until spring when they use their spigot. This is a fairly common issue that plumbers have to fix.”

Check your vehicle’s battery and other maintenance needs

Shawn Steward with AAA tells us the company receives a lot more service calls when the temperature dips below freezing.

Steward tells us, “Typically in a given winter, we serve 20,000 or more calls.”

When it comes to tires, Steward says for every 10 degrees the temperature drops — you can see your tire pressure drop one pound of pressure.

Steward says to make sure to not only check your vehicle’s tires and battery, but other parts of your car’s maintenance are also taken care of before the temperature drops below freezing.

Make sure any livestock are kept safe

Not surprisingly, freezing temperatures are particularly difficult on ranchers and their livestock.

Beef systems specialist with Kansas State, Jaymelynn Farney, says when the real feel temperature drops below 18 degrees, cattle have an especially difficult time and it could lead to death if not addressed in a timely manner.

Farney says more food is necessary during these cold temperatures because cattle need more energy to keep warm.

She also talked about how the technology has improved to help ranchers tend to their animals in these extreme conditions.

Farney explained how when these temperatures do eventually warm back up, ranchers are going to need to watch out for their frozen dirt turning to mud, causing another set of problems for their cattle.

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