Water mains continue to burst in cold temps

December 16, 2010 6:02:52 AM PST
The cold weather is creating all kinds of problems for Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville.In Raleigh Wednesday, Avent Ferry Road was closed between Varsity Drive and Crest Road while workers fixed a broken pipe.

Durham also dealt with a similar situation after a water main burst on North Duke Street near Leon Street.

And in Fayetteville the freezing temperatures are to blame for major road disruptions.

Almost a dozen pipes have broken since Monday, including one at Emerald Drive and Golden Road.

On Wednesday night some of the water from the break froze, causing police to warn motorists to be on the alert for any slick spots that might really be black ice.

Wednesday morning, crews spent a good part of the day digging up a busted pipe along frequently traveled Raeford Road. It took crews there several hours to repair the ruptured pipe and get the busy road re-opened.

None of the ruptures Wednesday were as bad as the one on Morganton Road Tuesday night.

Crews battled freezing temperatures in waist deep mud and water to replace a six foot section of a water main that ruptured that afternoon.

As some of the water that ran down the road froze, causing black ice and led to at least one accident along the road. No one was severely injured, but nearby residents were left without power.

North Carolina Department of Transportation officials closed a section of the road until the pipe was replaced and the road was free of ice.

A Public Works Commission spokesperson says there are several reasons for the breaks, but the biggest is the temperature.

"We have pipes in the ground that have been there for years, and there are a variety of different materials," said Carolyn Justice-Hinson with PWC. "Most of them are still perfectly good pipes under normal conditions obviously with the temperatures dropping those are not normal conditions."

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