Brutal Cold Temps Cause Problems in Central Mass. | NECN

Brutal Cold Temps Cause Problems in Central Mass.



    Water pipe in Auburn Police Department station burst, caused $30K worth of damage (Published Friday, Feb. 21, 2014)

    (NECN: Kristen Carosa) - A section of the kitchen of an assisted living facility in Auburn, Mass. is now blocked off after cold temperatures caused a pipe to burst Saturday afternoon.

    "One of our pipes froze, which triggered an alarm to go off," Mark Forest with Emeritus at Eddy Pond says.

    Forest, the executive director, says the water was shut off fast, but thousands of dollars of damage remains. Staff had to close the kitchen for the day and food was brought in.

    "The residents were affected a little but everyone was so understanding and the entire staff really pulled together," Forest says.

    The fire department dealt with several pipe breaks this weekend, including one at the town's police station on Friday.

    "Firefighters were able to get the water shut down within three minutes, but there was another 10 to 15 minutes of water just draining from the pipes," Auburn Fire Chief Stephen Coleman says.

    Water spread fast throughout the station, causing $30,000 worth of damage.

    With temperatures expected to fall, Chief Coleman is warning residents that this could happen again.

    "We haven't seen temperatures like this year in years," he says.

    Chief Coleman says you can't always prevent a break from happening but there are ways to lessen the chances.

    "People should keep their heat up more than they normally would," Chief Coleman says.

    Also, keeping faucets running can prevent pipes from freezing and opening cabinets allowing warm air in will help.

    But if one should freeze Chief Coleman suggests using a hair dryer to thaw a pipe.

    "You can also take warm towels and wrap them around exposed pipes to get the water to move," he says.

    Forest says all measures are being taken to make sure another pipe doesn't break.

    He says spending a little extra time and money could save thousands.

    "Don't turn temperatures down when you leave for the day - you want to eliminate any risk of pipes freezing - it can happen to anyone," Forest says.