Freezing temperatures to last through week

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, January 3, 2018

NATCHEZ — After nearly 48 hours of sub-freezing conditions, the temperature in Natchez rose ever so briefly above 32 degrees Tuesday afternoon.

National Weather Service Jackson meteorologist Tony Hurt said Natchez residents should continue to expect lows in the teens and 20s through Saturday, when a new weather system is expected to bring warmer weather.

“By Saturday the evening temperatures should moderate into the 30s with highs in the 50s and 60s during the weekend,” Hurt said. “Rain chances will also increase over the weekend.”

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Until then, residents should expect the unusually cold weather to continue this week, especially in the evening and early morning hours, Hurt said.

The low for early Thursday morning and Friday morning is expected to drop to 20 degrees.

Local plumbers were busy Tuesday repairing leaks from pipes damaged after being exposed to the sub-freezing temperatures.

“We have been about worked to death,” Natchez Heating and Cooling owner Yates McGraw said. “It is not going to be any better tomorrow.”

As daytime temperatures rise above the freezing mark, McGraw said pipes will begin to thaw and leaks from damaged pipes will appear.

“The type of plumbing we have (in the Miss-Lou) can’t take anything below 15 degrees,” McGraw said.

To avoid damage to pipes in a hard freeze, McGraw said the solution is simple.

“Let it drip and don’t be shy about it,” he said.

A steady stream of water from faucets is the best precaution against frozen pipes, McGraw said.

Natchez Water Works Superintendent Tony Moon said residents should report all water leaks to his office at 601-445-5521. During after hours, residents should press “8” when prompted to reach the call center. Natchez Water Works will have personnel on call 24 hours a day to address any issues that arise.

If there is a water leak, Moon said owners should cut off of their water service at  the water meter or have someone from Water Works come out to turn off the service for them. A local plumber will have to be called to repair any damage on private property.

Moon said unreported and unattended leaks create a burden on the water system. Tuesday afternoon, Moon said they have already seen leaks in the system from their monitoring equipment.

“We encourage all customers to report a leak and not let it go,” Moon said.

Local fire departments responded Tuesday to several businesses with water leaks from damaged pipes. The Natchez Fire Department responded to a water leak at the former K-Mart building. Concordia Fire District No. 2 officials responded to water leaks at Camelot Leisure Living in Ferriday and at the Clayton Head Start.