Extra precautions you can take during the freezing Valley temperatures

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The cold and windy weather that hit the Valley had some residents heading to local hardware stores.

"I tend to see quite a few sales on chainsaws and things like that because of limb breakage, and also people can't get their units to start so they bring them in, which is good business," says Parker's Hardware Shop Manager Paul Strong.

Strong is the shop manager at Parker's Hardware in Merced. He says customers have also been buying blowers to deal with leaves all over the ground, but he hasn't seen as many people picking up supplies to wrap their pipes because of improved insulation that's now required for new and remodeled homes.

Still, the store is full of options for anyone who has older pipes or those who need to add a little extra warmth indoors.

"We have plenty of heaters," says Parker's Hardware Retail Manager Alma Nunez. "Yes, everything people need when it's freezing."

The freeze warnings issued this week also have experts reminding residents to cover any sensitive, exposed vegetation and to bring pets inside.

"I personally keep my animals indoors," says Merced Co. Sheriff's Office Sgt. Mark Taylor. "I don't let them outside to live when it's cold. I don't like to see that. If it's that's cold that the animal's life is in danger, you're actually committing a crime."

The Merced County Animal Shelter also takes extra precautions to protect the pups who are waiting for their forever homes. The dogs still go outdoors every day while their kennels are being cleaned, but they may not spend as much time there when it's cold.

They also live in temperature-controlled dorms with their own heating and air conditioning systems, and they receive blankets to add an extra layer of comfort.

"We don't purchase our own blankets," says Animal Services Supervisor Lauren Perry. "We rely solely on donations from the public, so we gladly accept them, and it is something that's needed."

Local farmers said the dairy cows are doing fine in this weather, and the almond trees are not blooming yet, so they're also still in good shape.

Of course, freezing temperatures are a much bigger concern for citrus growers, so many of them have been taking steps to keep their crops warm enough.
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