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How to prepare for the winter weather expected to blast the Coastal Bend this weekend

With frigid temperatures and the potential for freezing rain and sleet on the way, pipes, pets and plants need to be protected.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There are already lots of things going on in preparation for the upcoming cold blast that could send our temperatures down to the 30s even 20s by Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

City crews are said to be working on an emergency plan to keep everyone safe, especially the homeless population.

TxDOT will be keeping an eye on the roadways and will take action if necessary, to ensure safe travel.

With the frigid temperatures and the potential for freezing rain and sleet on the way, city manager Peter Zanoni said leaders are staying in close contact with the experts at the National Weather Service here in Corpus Christi.

"The combination of increasing precipitation chances and freezing temperatures is going to open up the window for some winter weather for us. Right now, that window looks like Sunday and Monday," said Meteorologist Melissa Huffman.

While many residents are focused on the possibility of the s' word, weather experts said the freezing temperatures should have people preparing for the potential of a hard freeze, something we really haven't experienced in about 10 years.

In fact, we had to go way back into our archive to find video of our last hard freeze in February of 2011, when ice forced several roadways and overpasses to be shut down.

It was something that even had folks ditching their vehicles and hiking across the JFK Causeway to get to the island.

Huffman said it's never too early for folks to plan ahead.

"As we are getting ready for the weekend, we like to tell people about the 4 ps. We like to tell them about people, are grandma and grandpa ready for extended weather. We also like to tell people to think about their pets," said Huffman.

And when it comes to plants, be sure to cover them. Experts say to try and stay away from tarps and plastic because they could actually damage your vegetation. Instead, South Texas gardener Gabriel Vega said there are safer alternatives.

"Sheets, heavy curtains, old drapes heavy bedspreads, towels even," said Vega.

He said to make sure the covering touches the ground, like a tent.

Also, it might sound crazy, but he said to water the soil around your plants before the freeze.

The reason,

"Water in the soil will actually regulate and create warming temperatures than the atmosphere conditions of a hard freeze," said Gabriel Vega of Botanico.

Don't forget to protect those outdoor pipes. Master plumber Brian Brandon of Natures Plumbing gave us a demonstration of a simple way you can do just that. He says insulation will be your number one defense against the bitter temperatures.

"This is just split insulation, cut with a razor knife, stick it around it the pipe.  A worst-case scenario, take some rags tape wrap it around the pipe and try to keep it warm that way," said Brian Brandon who is a master plumber and owner of Natures Plumbing.

"Other techniques, remove the hose, and if it's going to get really cold you can even run your faucet with a slight drip," said Brandon.

Meanwhile, City Manager Peter Zanoni said they are also working with homeless agencies to make sure those who call the streets home have a warm place to stay along with food and blankets.

The Salvation Army will be providing emergency shelter.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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