WEATHER MAP

It may be New Years Day before locals can pop off fireworks in Anderson County due to a strong cold front moving through the region Wednesday, Dec. 30.

According to meteorologist Allison Prater with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, this front will bring scattered showers and thunderstorms to Anderson County, trailing a cold front with decreasing temperatures and increasing winds.

This storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall across East Texas. Prater reported a prediction of three to five inches in Anderson County in a 24 to 36 hour period with the possibility of flash-flooding. A flash-flood watch has been issued through Thursday afternoon.

Despite this being a fast moving front, Prater said there was only a slight potential for strong to marginally severe thunderstorms across Central and Southeast Texas was only expected for Wednesday afternoon.

Although locals can expect lots of rain, Prater said our neighbors west of I-35 are expected to get a wintery-mix with this front.

The rain is expected to clear out just after midnight on Friday, Jan. 1.

Heavy rains and flooding can lead to downed power lines and outages. Before bad weather sets in, be sure you’re prepared.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Use an all-hazards weather radio for up-to-date warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information.

Sign up for calls or texts from your local emergency notification system.

Insulate outside faucets and pipes near outer walls.

Make sure furnaces, heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves are clean, well-ventilated and in good working condition.

Keep space heaters at least three feet away from walls and combustible materials, including furniture and bedding, and don’t operate these machines when you’re asleep. Also ensure the space heater cannot tip over.

To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never operate a generator or other fuel-powered device inside a home, garage or other enclosed space. The odorless, colorless gas is deadly and is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned. Sources include motor vehicle engines, generators and fuel-burning appliances or heating systems. Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

Check on friends and family members whose health or age may put them at greater risk.

Stock up on firewood and supplies, including canned goods, bottled water and medication.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is reminding everyone to take precautions now to prepare for the possibility of freezing rain, sleet, snow, ice or other wintry mix that may impact their area. This includes checking the battery, windshield wipers, tire pressure, tire treads and fluid levels, as well as ensuring proper lubrication of door and trunk locks to prevent them from freezing.

DPS offers the following tips to stay safe on the roads this winter:

Monitor local weather broadcasts and check the latest weather conditions from the National Weather Service.

Be aware that ice accumulates on bridges and overpasses before drivers will see it on roads and highways, so approach them more slowly in winter weather.

Avoid traveling when sleet, freezing rain or snow is predicted, and monitor road conditions by calling 800-452-9292.

If you must drive in inclement weather, allow extra time to reach your destination. Share your travel plans with a friend or family member.

On icy roads, drive slowly and increase the distance between your vehicle and others, as you may need increased room to stop your vehicle. Do not use cruise control.

Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas.

Watch for downed trees and power lines. If a stop light is out, treat the intersection as a four-way stop.

The Texas Department of Public Safety encourages drivers to keep the following emergency supplies in their vehicles:

Blanket or sleeping bag;

Extra clothes, gloves and a hat;

Cell phone, radio, flashlight, extra batteries and phone charging cord;

First aid kit and pocket knife;

High-calorie, non-perishable food and bottled water;

A bag of sand or cat litter to provide traction for tires;

Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and a shovel; and

Jumper cables.

For more tips on vehicle safety, visit Ready.gov, and check out winter driving safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration .

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