The Fairfield County area has begun to see its first glimpses of snow and first freezing temperatures of the season. Along with colder temperatures in the air, ground temperatures are beginning to reach the freezing mark as well. When ground temperatures are cold but the atmosphere is still slightly too warm to produce snow, precipitation can fall as rain and instantly freeze upon impact with freezing ground temperatures on sidewalks, roads, or bridges. Freezing rain that creates ice on roadways can pose threats to the safety of drivers and pedestrians. The freezing rain can also form ice on trees and power lines, potentially damaging them in the process. Learning about the dangers of freezing rain and what to do in preparation for it can place you one step ahead when the forecast predicts freezing rain in your neighborhood.
Unlike snow, which can be shoveled, the ice formed by freezing rain cannot be eliminated quite as easily. Ice requires significantly more time and effort for removal. In addition, the ice resulting from freezing rain often deceives drivers and pedestrians, as ice often looks like water on a roadway or sidewalk. This can pose serious threats to drivers and pedestrians, as they may not be able to see the ice or receive adequate warning before driving in it. Aside from roadways and sidewalks, freezing rain can also impact surfaces such as tree branches and power lines. Ice can form on these surfaces. Enough ice can weigh down upon branches and power lines, potentially causing them to fall or break. Fallen branches and power lines can deprive local homes and businesses of power and heat for unpredictable amounts of time. Homes and businesses can also be at an increased risk of damage if heavy, icy branches fall nearby.
Taking precautions prior to a storm that is forecasted to produce freezing rain is a key step in ensuring your safety. The first of these precautions is purchasing salt, which can be sprinkled on outdoor surfaces such as sidewalks or driveways that will work to melt the ice faster. Another helpful practice may be to anticipate that branches may fall, damaged power lines may result in the loss of electricity, and the ice may deprive you of the ability to leave your home safely. Making sure that you purchase necessities, such as bottled water, toilet paper, batteries, flashlights, and blankets, before the storm will decrease the chances that you would need to leave your home while conditions are dangerous.