Lights Out for Some Residents in the Panhandle

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PANAMA CITY BEACH- It was lights out for fountain residents early Tuesday morning.

"In that just few hour periods, it was enough to freeze."

Disabled veteran Barbara Hood battled the brutal cold at her home after her and a few neighbors lost power.

"When I called the power company, they told me a squirrel got inside a transformer, and made the power go out," said Barbara Hood, fountain resident.

Barbara stayed inside with her dog until the power eventually turned on two hours later.

"The temperature right now is 20 degrees, but Barbara says overnight it went down to 15. She left this bucket of water for her dog and it completely froze," said Hood.

She also left her bathroom faucet on to keep the pipes from freezing, but they did anyway.

Barbara is not alone; dozens of people around the panhandle woke up to frozen pipes.

Tom Hanson owner of "A Plum Better" was busy all day.

"Ice was inside the pipes so what they had to do here is heat them up a little bit and get those pipes thawed out," said tom Hanson, a plum better owner.

Most units like this are protected with an internal heat strip to protect against freezing.

But Hanson recommends you cover them with pipe insulation.

And if the pipes freeze, immediately shut off the water.

"You can actually do it with a homeowner hair dryer. You can hit it with a hair dryer and warm it up the best they can," said Hanson.

Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.


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