Preparing for freezing rain around your home - KPTV - FOX 12

Preparing for freezing rain around your home

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(KPTV) (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Most neighborhoods around Portland are still covered in snow and ice from last week’s storm, but now a slick coating of freezing rain may be added on top.

If you head to your local hardware store looking for supplies like ice melt, good luck. Most stores have been sold out of it for days.

However, there are a few other things you can use instead.

“We have this great anti-slip ice carpet,” said Kevin Retalia of the Ace Hardware on Northeast Broadway. “It comes on a 10-foot roll, you can roll it down your stairs, in front of your house or along your front walkway, and it acts as a nice barrier in between the ice and your shoes.”

Speaking of shoes, try getting Ice Cleats that wrap around the soles of your shoes or boots to help you walk on icy sidewalks and streets.

You can even make homemade de-icer for your windshield by mixing two parts rubbing alcohol with one part water and adding a few squirts of dishwashing liquid, Retalia said. Mix that together, spray it on your windshield and it will start melting the ice for you.

In preparation of ice-covered branches taking down power lines, you’ll want to have a generator or another alternate heat source, plus flashlights, batteries and lanterns.

Add that to your emergency kit at home stocked with food, water and any medication you might need.

“If you have a concern about a tree that you think maybe the tree itself could come down and affect power lines near your home, or a limb that looks like it might come down, give us a call,” said Steve Corson with PGE.

To report a tree or limb that concerns you, or one that falls in a storm, call PGE’s Tree Hotline at 1-800-544-1794. You can also learn more at www.portlandgeneral.com/trees.

Crews with PGE work year-round to trim a quarter of a million trees that grow near power lines, but they’ve been especially busy with the recent storms.

Arborists and tree service companies have been, too.

Some crews were still responding to trees down around and on homes as of Monday afternoon that had been there for several days already.

Experts say it’s okay to shake snow off of smaller, ornamental tree limbs, but stay away from the larger canopies of old growth. If you have concerns about a large tree in your yard, call a professional. Trying to shake off snow or ice, or trim branches yourself only puts you in harm’s way.

“One of my coworkers was talking about a neighbor of theirs who was going to go out with a cardboard tube and knock the snow off the [power] lines, or try to knock the ice off some lines going to their house to reduce the risk of an outage,” Corson said.  “Don’t do that. Don’t go anywhere near those power lines.”

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