EPHRATA, WA. The National Weather Service is currently forecasting temperatures to reach only the 10-20°F range, and lows in the single-digits, beginning early next week. Snow is also possible. Extreme cold is a hazard and the City is advising residents to take precautions.
Typically, Ephrata experiences at least one good, hard cold snap each winter. Taking time to prepare now, while the weather is relatively pleasant, just makes good sense. The long-range forecast for this winter is for below average temperatures and above average precipitation.
The most common problem during a major cold snap is frozen pipes. The City advises that homeowners take the following precautions:
1. Ensure that the underside of your home is protected from the cold and wind. This may include adding insulation to pipes in your crawlspace.
2. Shield and/or insulate all outside faucets.
If your water meter from the City is shallow (less than 24” down), add a layer of insulation, or even newspaper, to prevent freezing.
If you are going to be away from your home, open cabinets under your sinks to give warm air access to the lines, and leave a thin stream of water flowing (about the width of a pencil lead) to prevent frozen lines. If your home is normally gets cold inside, this may be necessary overnight during particularly cold weather.
The Ephrata Fire Department responds to many incidents during the winter due to the use and misuse of heaters and fireplaces. Inspect your chimney, vents, and make sure that you have proper clearance between any heat-source and every other object. Please make certain that you have proper ventilation for any generator, open flame, or any other source of carbon monoxide in your home or garage.
The City recommends that everyone be prepared for extended power outages and/or emergencies, even though failures in Grant County are both rare and short. It is recommended that you have at least threedays worth of non-perishable food on hand, extra water, fresh batteries, extra medications, appropriate clothing, and a radio. Consult the County Emergency Management website for additional provisions.
Perhaps the most important thing we can do, before or during inclement conditions, is to check on one another. Be active in your neighborhood and look in on neighbors, especially those that may need extra care during severe weather.
Also take time to guarantee that your car is in good working order, with appropriate anti-freeze and oil viscosity for the season. Any local mechanic can help you with specific recommendations for your car, including snow tires, if needed. Always keep a blanket, food, and water in your car in case of unexpected delays when traveling.
If you have additional questions, please utilize the following information, or simply call the City of Ephrata.
Additional Contact Information
To report water problems, or for emergency shut-off: 754-4601 (after hours dial 762-1160)
For travel information and mountain pass conditions:
www.wsdot.wa.gov or dial 511
For more information of fire and CO hazards:
http://ephrata.org/209.html or 754-4666
For additional information on emergency preparations:
, http://www.govlink.org/storm/default.asp, or 762-1462.