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Hot Showers For Those With Frozen Pipes

CENTRAL CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) You can hear the frustration in Al Burkles voice.  After nearly 30 winters in public works for Central City he says this is the worst.  He and his crew are looking down into the manhole over a sewer line on first street.  When they popped the cover on it a few days ago, the ice came all the way to the top.  Its just one of dozens of water lines and sewer pipes that have frozen up all over town, leaving families without water, sometimes for days.  Burkle says on the snowy surface you really cant tell the brutality that lurks below, We dug up a water line over on 5th street and the frost was right at six foot deep.  We have a two inch main over there and the frost got right around that two inch main and ripped that line and froze it tight.


No one has an exact count, but its estimated more than 40 families have seen water pipes freeze or break at some point during this winter. A woman passing on the street offers that the only positive part of the weather is the constant snow that theyve been able to melt to have water to flush the toilet.

So many people impacted that Central City High School is opening its doors from 7:30 to 8:30 AM and again from 6:30 to 8:30 PM just to give those effected a place to get a hot shower. Superintendent Tim Cronin is quick to point out it was not his idea.  He says one of his custodians told him its what they should do for their neighbors in a small town, And it was wonderful because shes telling me this and shes saying they can come in at night and if they need me to Ill stay late and you dont have to pay me and people are suffering and I said you know what Alice I think we can do this and you not have to stay late. Cronin says theyll continue to let people use the locker rooms as long as there are frozen pipes in town.


Its not just Central City experiencing the damage from more than a month of below zero days.  Towns all across Iowa are seeing frozen pipes and some are even suggesting their homeowners let the water run in a fine stream 24 7.  It isnt a guarantee that pipes wont burst, but it can improve the chances.  In the meantime Al Burkle seems satisfied the sewer line hes working on will remain open until he can check it again tomorrow.  As he heads back to his city truck he says the words likely uttered by all in Central City at least once a day, Spring cant come quick enough.   


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