Cold Weather Changes Habits

Temperatures all across East Texas dropped below freezing for the first time this season. Monday morning's chill was changing habits for both people and their pets.

The Starbucks Coffee Shop in Tyler was packed. "It's been crowded all morning," said customer Donna McKinney. Seeking a break from the cold, customers like Donna opted for coffee. "It's a normal ritual every day, but especially when it's cold."

While the lattes and frappuchinos were flying off the counters, just two doors down, the ice cream shop was getting the cold shoulder.

Across town the dog days of summer are over. The Smith County Humaine Society was taking the bite out of winter. "The first thing is just to make sure they have adequate shelter and that's just an igloo dog house," says Director Gayle Helms.  "And, then, we raise them off the ground some and we also put fresh dry hay in there for them."  Indoors at the shelter, pound puppies were being practically pampered. "Even though we've got heaters going, those concrete floors are really cold. So, we have bread crates that we've turned upside down to get them up off the concrete. And, at night we also give them a towel or a blanket."

Speaking of concrete, workers in downtown had to wait until after temperatures rose back above freezing before they could fix the sidewalk. "It gets cold out here. You just have to try to dress in layers, stay as warm as you can and stay busy to keep warm," said Alan Jones with Reynolds and Cain Construction.

The freezing temperatures Monday morning may hold some good medical news. The Smith County Public Health District says the cold snap will kill off most East Texas mosquitos. That means the threat of West Nile for this season is pretty much over.

Stephen Parr, reporting.