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City gains upper hand in frozen-pipes battle

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City hall may be getting the frozen pipe situation under control. The most recent update states the number of properties on the waiting list to be thawed has declined.

The city says 14 more properties reported frozen water lines between Monday and Tuesday, an increase to 2,194 in total since November.

But for the first time since the situation was described as an emergency, city crews were able to restore full water service to more properties (24) than were added to the list (14).

The result is the number of properties on the waiting list declined to 1,349, a drop of 10 from Monday.

"It looks very encouraging but I just don’t want to let our guard down and have people think we’ve completely turned the corner," said Randy Hull, the Winnipeg’s emergency preparedness coordinator, adding the city continues to get more reports of additional properties with frozen lines — albeit in much smaller numbers.

"Certainly, it’s a positive move in the right direction."

Hull said the city is still advising property owners in the at-risk areas, and those whose service has been restored or with temporary hoses, to continue to run a cold water tap 24/7, adding the potential for more frozen lines will be here for several more weeks.

"We’re still very concerned the frost is creeping down," Hull said. "There will be people with frozen taps when its 20 C in May. The ground will still be frozen at seven and eight feet."

Hull said Winnipeg’s famous heavy clay soil absorbs moisture more than soils with a sandy mix, and freezes rock solid, adding it simply takes longer for the frozen clay soil to thaw.

The city also reported that it provided temporary water service to an additional 20 properties between Monday and Tuesday, for a total of 657 properties getting water service through a hose connection from a neighbour.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 5:27 PM CDT: Updated.

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