Frozen Pipe: As the temperatures begin to gradually warm up following the freeze that occurred this week, first responders are seeing an uptick in the number of calls for assistance as frozen pipes burst.
Frozen Pipe Incidents Are Rising in Oregon as a Result of the Cold Weather
Pipes are especially susceptible to freezing when temperatures remain below freezing for an extended period of time, as has been the case in the Portland area towards the end of the week. However, unless things start to warm back up and the pipes burst from the pressure, you probably won’t discover that you have frozen pipes until it’s too late.
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The region is still being affected by the icy weather, which has led to multiple accidents and road closures.
“The typical time that we’ll start to see flooding and the issues is after when things start to thaw out,” said Damon Simmons of Portland Fire & Rescue. “The typical time that we’ll start to see flooding and the issues is after when things start to thaw out.”
Calls to firemen reporting busted pipes are keeping them busy even as the weather in some parts of the region begins to gradually warm up.
“We are seeing a lot of instances, and we expect them to increase as the weather warms over a period of time, so we will probably continue to go on these calls and continue to have people that need our help,” said Simmons. “For the next few days, we will probably continue to go on these calls and continue to have people that need our help.”
Early on Friday morning, crews were dispatched to the scene of an emergency water main break on SW 1st near Arthur. As a result of the break, the area was closed off to traffic and water was spilling into the streets. The fire department received calls nonstop for the remainder of the day to respond to broken pipes in residential residences and apartment buildings.
Although the freeze that occurred over the past few days is likely to have already affected many pipes, first responders say that in the future, you can make proactive efforts to prevent frozen pipes by doing things like leaving a pencil-sized drip open so that water can continue to flow through the pipes.
According to Simmons, if you are concerned about your pipes freezing, you should open up your cabinets and let the warm air from within your living space circulate around and in between the pipes.
In the event that your pipes do freeze and break despite your best efforts to prevent this from happening, Portland Fire suggests that you not only make an effort to halt the flow of water but also turn off your electricity in case any pipes leak via your lighting fixtures or outlets.
Pipes can be quick to freeze, especially with the prolonged below-freezing temperatures the Portland area is seeing late this week. However, you likely won’t notice you have frozen pipes until things start to warm back up and they burst from the pressure. https://t.co/0quD1P9jbU
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Simmons stated that “We ask that you generally call the non-emergency number but if you have flooding that is flowing into an electrical chase or anything like that and it may present a hazard to anyone, then go ahead and contact 911.” “We ask that you probably call the non-emergency number.”
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In the meantime, whether it’s tonight or in the days before a future winter weather event, fire officials say to look inside and around your home or apartment and know where to turn off your sinks and the water supply. Additionally, they say to know where your power breakers are so that you can quickly turn off the electricity if it’s necessary.
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