GASTON COUNTY, N.C. -- There's mad dash to beat the cold blast, as crews work through the night to restore power in a Gaston County neighborhood.

"Didn't expect it to be cold when I got home, but I've got to fly guys," said a resident who lost power.

Duke Energy says a tractor-trailer accident left thousands in the dark living near Beacon Hills.

"It's freezing," said Kelly Hofmann, a resident who lost power. "I have an office here and an apartment upstairs and I'm staying somewhere else tonight."

For those without a warm place to go, Gaston County Health and Human Services set up a shelter at Ashbrook High School.

With temperatures well below average, animal control has a grave warning for pet owners. This comes after Tuesday night in Rock Hill, a puppy was found dead in a wire cage frozen in a pool of rainwater.

"So if you see something say something," said Melissa Knicely, spokesperson for CMPD Animal Control. "The best thing you can do is bring the animals inside during these temperatures."

Frigid temps not only a threat to our four-legged friends but homes as well. Rick Pier with Mountain Island Plumbing says if you aren't pro-active it could end up costing you big time.

"Older home might be more vulnerable than a newer home," said Rick Pier, owner of Mountain Island Plumbing. "The water damage could cause thousands or tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage."