LATEST WEATHER UPDATES: Shelters, school closures, power outages in the RGV

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Here is everything you need to know when it comes to local shelters, preparing your home, among other tips

Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—Winter weather is expected to sweep through the Rio Grande Valley all the way through the weekend and into next week.

We will likely see on and off light showers throughout Thursday and will even pick up tonight into Friday morning with lows in the 40s.

A secondary push of cooler air and rain will move in on Saturday. This will be kept wet, damp, cool conditions in place.

This near record-breaking weather may cause come concern for those of who, let’s just say, are more experienced with hot weather.

To help you prepare, KVEO compiled a list of resources and tips to help you and your family with what is to come.

Shelters Available

City of Roma

Roma Fire Department-> 901 E Grant St

Starting February 14 through the 15, COVID-19 precautions will be taken.

Brownsville 

Ozanam Center ->656 North Minnesota Ave 

Shelter accepting donations. 
956-831-6331, after 6 p.m., call 956-589-8084 

Harlingen 

Loaves and Fishes->514 South E St 

Shelter closes at 11 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13.  
956-423-1014 

La Feria

La Feria Dome->1001 Pancho Maples

Elma E. Barrera Elementary-> 100 Antonia Cavazos Ave on FM 506

11:30 p.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday

Mercedes 

Lucero Del Norte Community Church->5806 Lucero Del Norte St 

956-490-7476 

Mercedes Safe Dome ->1202 N. Vermont

Pharr

Vanguard Academy Gymnasium -> 1200 E Kelly Ave, Pharr, TX 78577

Opening at 7 pm Friday, February 12, through 10 am on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

McAllen 

Salvation Army-> Pecan and 23rd St 

ID required. 
956-682-1468

Catholic Charities -> 111 S. 15th

800-4427

Mission

Mission Parks & Recreation -> 721 N. Bryan Road

Sat. February 13, 3 p.m. – Tues. February 16, 10 a.m.

HCCSA offers heaters

The Hidalgo County Community Service Agency (HCCSA) said they are helping residents to stay warm.

They currently have a limited number of space heaters available for those in need.

In order to qualify, an application must be submitted here. More information will be required from applicants.

For more on this initiative all (956) 383-6240.

How to drive on icy roads

Public Transportation

Metro McAllen: All Fixed Routes Paratransit services will be suspended Monday 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Electricity

ERCOT has direct AEP to begin temporary power outages across service areas.

Prep Kit: Put together a prep kit that has flashlights with fresh batteries. Avoid candles since they can become a fire risk. Have water and snacks at the ready in the event of slick roads.

Have an extra portable phone charger: We can’t always have our devices completely charged, but having a portable charger just might be that saving grace get you through.

Watch for downed power lines: If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and do not go near it or drive over it.

Check your local news: Stay tuned to local news media for updates on the storm situation and recovery progress. Updates also will be posted on ValleyCentral and social media.

Refrigerator: Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep cold air inside. Check out sources of ice or dry ice, if needed. Food should stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer, 24 hours in a half-full freezer – if you keep the door closed.

Generator: If you use a portable generator, DO NOT plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators “back-feed” electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Plug appliances directly into the generator.  Also, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Most, if not all, require that backup generators be located outside the home and away from open windows in order to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Click here, for more information on tips and restoration process from AEP.

Around The Home

  • Space Heaters
    • Plug space heaters directly into the wall. Do not use extension cords or plug the space heater into power strips!
    • Leave 3 feet of clear space around the heater. Make sure the heater is placed away from curtains, papers, furniture, or anything flammable.
    • Keep the space heater away from water.
    • Place heater on a sturdy, hard surface such as the floor. NEVER place the heater on a rug or on top of shelves, nightstands, or beds.
    • Never leave the heater unattended. Keep a close eye on the heater if you have children and/or pets.
  • Check the home heating system to make sure it is working properly.
  • Make sure carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly.
  • Clean out chimneys and fireplaces.
  • If using a generator to power home, do not place the generator inside of the home. Carbon Monoxide can kill.
  • Do not use stoves for heat.

Staying Safe Outdoors

  • Dress in layers.
  • If outdoors for prolonged periods of time, wear a hat, a scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth, long sleeve shirts, thick gloves, water-resistant coat, and boots.
  • Several layers of loose-fitting clothing.
  • Know the symptoms of hypothermia:
    • Shivering
    • Exhaustion or feeling very tired
    • Confusion
    • Fumbling hands
    • Memory Loss
    • Slurred speech
    • Drowsiness
  • If having to work outdoors:
    • Be well rested
    • As you dehydrate faster in cold weather, stay hydrated and drink lots of water.
    • Stay hydrated.
    • Take frequent breaks away from cold temperatures.

Landscaping, plants and sprinkler systems

Drip several faucets throughout the inside of your house: You don’t have to do all of them, but while you’re not using any fixtures with an outside wall on one side, allow them to drip from both the cold and hot water. A constant drip is preferable.

Watch your inside temperature: Do not turn your heat temperature too low at night or when you are leaving your home, otherwise it prevents your pipes from benefitting from that heat.

Open the cabinets under sinks/near plumbing: This will help pipes receive more exposure to the heat inside your home to prevent freezing.

Cover your plants: You can use blankets, drop cloths and even bed sheets to go over them, but the key is to create some space between the cover and the plant itself. In that empty space, that air will stay warmer, thus helping to protect your plant.

Water the day or two before the freeze event: That will create an insulated soil effect, filling those spaces of air in it with heat and will help the temperature of the soil stay higher and slow down the freezing process. At the same time, do NOT water the foliage above ground. That will defeat the soil watering purpose.

Turn off your sprinkler system: During the main freezing temperature event. Do run your sprinkler system immediately after that weather event during the day, and at a time where you can watch to be sure there are no leaks or broken heads.

School Closures

Some districts are only holding classes online, meanwhile, others are calling off school entirely for Monday’s inclement weather.

Edinburg CISD

TSTC Harlingen will be closed on Monday, Feb. 15. There will be no in-person classes.
Online classes and remote operations will continue as normal.

Coastal areas closed off from fishing

Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens are closing off portions of the coastline along Cameron and Willacy counties due to freezing conditions.

Cameron County beach access closed

The following in County Beach Access Areas and County Park in Arroyo City will be closed tomorrow: Isla Blanca Park, Andy Bowie Park, E.K. Atwood Park, Beach Access No. 3, No. 4, No.5 and No. 6, and Adolph Thomas. Jr.

Hours of operation will resume on Tuesday.

Power Outages

Port Isabel: AEP is working to restore an outage in Port Isabel affecting 3,200 customers. The power is expected back on by 3:30 p.m.

Tax office closure

Hidalgo County is closing all eight county tax offices on Tuesday.

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