Snow is known for having public works staff busy plowing, but it’s the city’s water crews that are overworked during this cold snap.
According to the City, more than 1,300 people reported having no water or exterior leaks due to frozen or burst pipes. That’s 20 times the average number of calls over the last 30 days, leaving a major backlog.
Water main breaks have also abounded, starting with a gusher on Monday afternoon at I-695 at Putty Hill Avenue and continuing with a break that has Greene St. closed at Baltimore St. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake even had to postpone a forum on police body cameras scheduled for Wednesday night at the Empowerment Temple in Southwest Baltimore because of a water main break.
Temperatures are supposed to drop on Thursday, so “things may get worse before they get better,” the city warns.
With the issues, here’s some tips on preparing and avoiding outages via the City:
- Always keep on hand a three day supply of bottled water; one gallon per person per day.
- Let a thin stream of cold water run from a basement faucet that’s about the thickness of a pencil lead.
- If your pipe is frozen, gently warm it with hot air from a blow dryer at the point where it enters your house.
- Be sure you know the location of the water shutoff valve in your home.
- Be sure to shut off water to outside faucets.
- Monitor your sump pump. A frozen drain pipe could result in a flooded basement.
- Insulate pipes in unheated parts of your house.
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