Arizona bundles up as big chill continues


by Natalie Brand

Posted on January 13, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Updated Sunday, Jan 13 at 2:35 PM

PHOENIX -- The cold didn’t deter crowds in Glendale Saturday night, but this year’s Glitter and Glow block party bundled up, braving the big chill with no shortage of hats and hot chocolate.

“I’m from the state of Washington, and this is cold!” said one partygoer.

Freezing cold temperatures this weekend have threatened people, pets, pipes and plants.

Valley farmers and growers describe this cold snap as nerve wracking, as the overnight frost threatens their crops.

“It’s going to be a sleepless few nights,” said John Babiarz of Greenfield Citrus Nursery in Mesa.

Babiarz showed 3TV how he’s using irrigation to guard against the threat, since water helps reduce potential damage to the crops and creates heat against the frigid air.

Frost is a threat growers are guarding against at all costs.

“You work 360 days, and then these five days could wipe you out,” said Babiarz.

In addition to running water, he’s placed heaters near some of his plants and wrapped his young citrus trees in cardboard.

He recommends homeowners with citrus use burlap to cover the tree, then water them before bed, using warm water is possible.  Remember lemon and lime is even more prone to freezing than other citrus.

Exposed pipes are also a concern as temperatures dip below normal.  Valley repair crews worked all day fixing problems, including burst pipes and broken heaters.  They expect to be even busier on Sunday.