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Winter Storm On Way To North Texas, But Don't Expect Repeat Of February 2021

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - It's been nearly a year since a massive winter storm left North Texas frozen and thousands without electricity and heat for days.

Plumbers across North Texas were overwhelmed last February as thousands of customers tried to clean up the damage from the winter storm.

"It was once-in-a-lifetime," said David Crow, general manager of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. "I've been doing this for 25 years, and we've had storms before, but that was unprecedented."

That event forced more than 500,000 Texans to submit insurance claims for more than $10 billion in damages, according to Texas Department of Insurance records.

And with a winter storm in the forecast yet again, some people are getting worried.

"Everybody's concerned that we're fixing to have a repeat of last year," Crow said. "It's not going to happen."

CBS 11 Chief Meteorologist Scott Padgett said, last February, the DFW area was at or below freezing for nearly six consecutive days.

"This system that comes through, we could be below freezing for maybe approximately 48 hours. So that's the big difference right there is the length of time of us below freezing," he said.

This week's event, he said, will be more of a classic North Texas storm that happens every few years.

"We're used to these ice storms kind of coming through, and everyone's like, 'I want snow!,' and Mother Nature's like, 'Surprise! You get freezing rain or you get some ice,' so it is typical for us."

Even still, store shelves are running out of supplies, like space heaters and generators, as North Texans rush to get prepared.

Experts do recommend covering outdoor faucets - you can use a towel if you can't find a cover.

Let a small stream of water flow from fixtures that are on outside walls, open up cabinets, and crank the heat. Lessons so many learned the hard way in 2021.

"Even though we won't be below freezing for 139 consecutive hours, that doesn't mean that we don't drop below freezing and you could have maybe that hard freeze and some of that pipe damage," Padgett said.

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