Juneau warns residents to check pipes to prevent freezing as temperatures dip

A cold weather phenomenon known as the Taku winds causes white caps and water to mist into the air on Friday, January 6, 2017, on the Gastineau Channel as seen from the U.S. Coast Guard Juneau station. National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for Juneau and Southeast Alaska that will last until Sunday afternoon, January 8, 2017. The warning was for hazardous high winds of about 60 to 80 mph. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO)
A cold weather phenomenon known as the Taku winds causes white caps and water to mist into the air on Jan. 6, 2017, on the Gastineau Channel. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO)

Below-average temperatures across the northern panhandle this weekend could complicate things for Juneau residents.

David Levin is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Juneau. He said cold air will move into the region from Canada over the next few days.

“We will see temperatures probably bottom out into the single digits across a large part of the area, and potentially below zero in some areas that are more sheltered, like the Mendenhall Valley and some of the northern panhandle locations like Haines and Skagway,” Levin said.

On social media, the City and Borough of Juneau reminded residents to take steps to prevent plumbing problems.

With temperatures forecast to drop, your pipes are at risk of freezing. If your water pipes are not properly insulated…

Posted by City and Borough of Juneau on Thursday, January 9, 2020

One way to avoid damage it to use heat tape on exposed pipes and keep crawl spaces warm. The city also recommends leaving the heat on at home or leaving faucets running to prevent freezing.

If pipes do freeze, call a plumber. The city does not unfreeze pipes, but there is an emergency water turnoff phone number to call: 907-586-0393, or 907-586-2165 after hours.

Levin said cold temperatures will continue into next week.

“Temperatures will be well below normal for this time of year, with highs probably in the teens and 20s and lows in the single digits,” he said. “Especially in the early part of the week, potentially in the below-zero range for some locations.”

High winds with gusts of up to 80 mph in downtown Juneau and Douglas added to the cold Friday, but those were expected to die off in the evening.

KTOO’s Matt Miller contributed to this report. 

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