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Bend mechanics, fire crews prepare for early winter

With freezing temperatures sweeping across Central Oregon overnight on Monday, people are preparing for the winter earlier than expected.

Drivers may need to start preparing for dangerous road conditions and car issues due to the early chill. Area mechanics told NewsChannel 21 on Monday it’s never too early to take care of your vehicle so it works properly during the winter.

“You just don’t wanna get to where we get a bunch of snow and it gets freezing and stuff doesn’t work,” said Gabriel Christian, a mechanic with the Import Performance auto repair shop in Bend. “You can actually prevent serious issues like engine troubles and transmission troubles just by keeping clean fluids.”

Christian said in addition to replacing batteries and repairing common electrical issues, some customers need to deal with car troubles related to rodents seeking places to hibernate during the cold.

“We do so much rodent damage in this area, and we feel horrible for people, because sometimes they’ll come in multiple times for a bunch of chewed-up wires,” Christian said. “So a lot of people do funny things, like keeping the hood open to keep it cold so that rodents don’t get in there.”

Drivers are not the only ones trying to stay warm. The city of Bend warns shelters may reach capacity due to severe cold weather expected throughout the region.

City Manager Eric King has signed a weather emergency declaration, allowing overnight stays at approved shelters. That also requires the fire department to allow people to stay in those shelters.

NewsChannel 21 spoke with Bend Chief of Fire Prevention and Fire Marshal Larry Medina, to learn more about their efforts.

“Usually there’s snow followed with cold temperatures, which makes it very risky for those that are outside sleeping or camping at night,” Medina said. “So October is pretty early. Traditionally, we’ve opened the shelters up on Thanksgiving or Christmas.”

The weather emergency declaration is in effect until April. To read the full announcement about the city’s declaration, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Bend

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