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Homeowners and Valley farmers prepare for freezing temperatures

Monday, December 02, 2013

Fresno Ag Hardware has rolled out their winter supplies. With low temperatures expected to hit the valley this week, General Manager Kevin Seubert expects to start seeing customers looking for equipment to winterize their homes.

Seubert says many have already started buying heaters. He also expects and recommends homeowners to buy insulation for their outdoor pipes.

"It insulates the pipe and keeps it from freezing," Seubert explained, "you won't have pipes busting and shooting water."

He also recommends getting seals for doors and windows to keep the heat in and reduce your electric bill. He also says there are covers for outdoor plants and gardens.

At Harris Farms near Sanger, citrus grower Rod Radtke is watching the temperatures closely. He manages 1,500 acres of citrus trees.

While he says short amounts of cold weather can be good for the fruit, if temperatures drop below 32 degrees and stays that way for long periods of time, it can damage the citrus.

"We've been around the block a few times, and fell off the turnip truck a long time ago, so we've been getting ready since July," he said.

That means they've rebuilt and refurbished some of their wind machines. Fifty of them tower over the trees, when they are turned on they circulate the air above and send some of the warmer air down to the fruit.

Radtke also says their irrigation system becomes a frost control system during the cold times. As temperatures drop below freezing, the water is sprayed to the trees at a temperature of about 52 degrees which helps warm the trees.

"We're worried about anything getting close to 32 (degrees)," he said, "It gets our attention for sure."

Find current watches, warnings and weather advisories for your area.

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Tags:
freeze, central valley, local, anthony pura
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