Valley utility workers gear up for freezing weather

Around Fresno ice crystals clung tight to front yards for hours.
December 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Around Fresno ice crystals clung tight to front yards for hours Friday. Day three of the hard freeze caught many people by surprise.

"It's just weird. I don't really see ice here in Fresno," Jackie Macias from Fresno said.

Caltrans crews put sand on highways to stop black ice. The extra coat of dirt prevents skidding and is especially important on bridges.

"At the San Joaquin River and the Kings River because there's water underneath it tends to make the temperatures a lot colder so those bridges have a tendency to develop ice,"

Workers are on standby in case snow dumps on the foothills overnight. If wintery weather makes it down to the Valley floor they will hit busy freeways.

"If it does happen to snow they are going to saturate 99 first because a lot of people on the freeway are not prepared on how to drive in the snow whereas people in the foothills are prepared for snow conditions,"

Heating repairmen are also busy in these frigid temperatures. Vern's plumbing and heating was booked up - with frantic callers needed warmth.

"We have a lot of calls on heaters - mainly heaters breaking down," Alex Nguyen with Vern's plumbing and heating said.

PG&E is reminding customers setting your thermostat too high could hurt your heater.

"If you can tolerate it with your health at night set your thermostat at 55 at night and then 65 during the day," PG&E spokesperson Denny Boyles said.

Their utility crews are on standby for another potential problem.

"Our biggest concern right now is preparing for outages that come from the storm," Boyles said.


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