Sacramento prepares people, pets and plants for overnight hard freeze

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – An upcoming winter storm had the city of Sacramento ready to open a warming center at 9 p.m. Monday.

Since December, the city has used a new threshold for when to open a warming center. The city’s criteria used to require three consecutive freezing nights.

“In close conjunction with the county health officer, we’ve altered that to any time the temperatures are forecast to drop below 33 degrees in a 24-hour period. We’re able to activate from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.,” explained Sacramento’s director of Emergency Services, Daniel Bowers.

The temperatures overnight Monday into Tuesday morning will easily fit the new criteria.

Bowers said a downtown warming center is ready for guests at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria on I Street.

“Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by some folks at the front desk who will ask to take your temperature, run you through a series of basically symptom checks,” Bowers said.

Other COVID-19 safety measures will include sanitizing and social distancing.

“There will be snacks, hot beverages available,” Bowers said.

Security and CPR-trained staff members will be on site at all times and pets are welcome.

For residential animals, Monday could be a dangerous night for them.

FOX40’s Chroma Kitty has made the transition from outdoor to indoor cat and veterinarian Dr. Jyl Rubin recommends the change for all cats during the hard freeze.

“Especially when the weather drops so quickly, they don’t have time to acclimate. And also, their paws can get frostbite and become frozen on cold surfaces,” Rubin explained. “Another side note is to make sure in the mornings, or whenever you go to your car, knock on your hood because a lot of kitty cats like to climb up into the hood of engines. And when people start the engine, now you have a fan belt kitty.”

Local plant experts also recommend people take precautions to protect their gardens during the hard freeze.

“You want to make sure that you cover your frost-tender plants. But you’ve got to cover them correctly,” explained certified nursing professional Greg Gayton of Green Acres Nursery.

Gayton said frost-sensitive plants include ferns, citrus, tropical foliage and anything newly-planted or budding.

For those using frost-covering material that you can buy at a nursery or some light blankets, Gayton said it’s important to allow the material to touch your plants and drape the fabric all the way to the ground where some of the day’s warmth is stored.

“It’s going to trap all that warm air that was captured during the day and help keep your plants nice and warm and cozy,” Gayton explained.

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