winter weather

What to Do About Frozen Pipes to Minimize Big Problems

More burst pipes are expected as frozen pipes continue to thaw

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The next phase of the winter weather disaster already unfolding in North Texas is flooding from frozen pipes that burst.

The problem will get worse as more frozen pipes thaw.

Alarms sounded at Christ Church Fort Worth on Altamesa Boulevard when massive flooding from frozen sprinkler pipes first burst through walls Monday night.

People at the church were just getting started with repairs on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It's a big project and it's hitting so many people. We've had tons of church families hit as well. Their pipes are broken and they've got water leaking through,” Associate Pastor Jeremy White said.

Broken pipes and sprinklers flooded several parts of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History on Wednesday.

Another gusher occurred Monday night at the Plano office of the Homebuilders Association of Greater Dallas.

Executive Director Phil Crone said it was the perfect storm of record low temperatures and long, unexpected power outages that made it impossible to keep pipes warm.

“If it’s really cold, it's only a matter of time before you get into that situation and we're going to see the worst of this once things thaw out,” Crone said. “We already had a labor shortage going into this situation.”

After more than a full day without electricity, the lights came back at Fred Allen’s Dallas home but no water came from his kitchen faucet.

“My kitchen sink remains to be the problem, along with my refrigerator. I'm not getting any water there as well,” Allen said.

The homebuilders’ association leader said people with pipes that are likely frozen need to turn off the water as soon as possible.

“The best thing you can do to ensure that the damage is just a frozen pipe and not copious amounts of water is to figure out a way to shut off the water to your house,” Crone said.

Most homes have a supply cut-off valve in the water meter box at the curb but finding it may be difficult with snow in the ground.  Many homes have another supply value closer to the house and newer homes have another one inside the house.

The Homebuilders Association and the City of Plano posted videos to help locate water supply valves.

The city of Frisco also posted a step-by-step guide with Frisco Fire Department battalion chief Keith Gall.

City water mains are a problem, too. Fort Worth reported more than 100 water main ruptures since Sunday. More are also expected as city pipes thaw.

The city of Denton also worked on a water main break Tuesday night, in addition pipe bursts and an outage at the city's water treatment plants. These types of issues have lead to multiple cities across North Texas to issue boil orders or water conservation alerts.

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