Freeze Warning: How to protect your pets and plants

A freeze warning is in effect until Tuesday morning for parts of Kern County. Forecasters are predicting below freezing temperatures in the outlying parts of the county, including Shafter, Delano, Wasco, and Arvin.

A freeze warning is in effect until Tuesday morning for parts of Kern County. Forecasters are predicting below freezing temperatures in the outlying parts of the county, including Shafter, Delano, Wasco, and Arvin.

Just off Highway 58, outside of Bakersfield, is one of the state's smallest fruit packing facilities.  The California Fruit Depot packs up about 1,000 oranges every day and then ships them all over the world.

"You're always watching the weather. You always want rain and you always don't want it to be too cold," said Ben Taft, Owner of California Fruit Depot.

It is a business that relies on Mother Nature, because she always gets the last word. "Really cold, for long periods of time are not our friend," continued Taft.

A freeze warning will be in effect from 10:00 Monday night until 9:00 Tuesday morning, for outlying parts of Kern County.

"We'll see those temperatures right around 32 degrees in areas for a time period of four to 11 and then some areas, it will fall below 28 degrees for one to five hours," said Kevin Charette, 17 News Weather Forecaster.

For now, Taft and other citrus growers can rest easy. "These 32 degree nights or 29 degree mornings, help sweeten up the fruit and make it a better tasting product," he explained.

But when nighttime temperatures dip below 25 degrees, growers worry. "It ends the season," noted Taft.


There are steps you can take at home to protect your own plants.

"If you have any sensitive vegetation, you'd want to cover them up. Maybe with a plastic bag tonight, or just bring it indoors," said Charette.


Pet owners should also keep their furry friends indoors during the winter.

"If that's not possible, keep them in a dry place, where they are nice and cozy and warm with lots of bedding," said Sally Breyer, Kern County Animal Control.

Animals can get frostbite and hypothermia, in less than an hour. "They can actually get freeze burns on their paws," continued Breyer.

After Monday night, temperatures will warm up a few degrees. "I think tonight will be the only night we'll actually see that actual freeze warning in place," said Charette.

Make sure your pets have a plastic bowl for water to keep it from freezing outside. Check your car before you start it in the morning because stray animals often climb in the engine to stay warm.

For more tips to protect your pet, go to:

http://psbweb.co.kern.ca.us/AC_Internet/pdfs/ColdWeatherTipsforPets.pdf

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