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As Cold Snap Dissipates, Plumbers See Spike In Frozen And Burst Pipes


Overnight temperatures across the Southern Willamette Valley are finally headed above the freeze point this weekend. But plumbers remain busy taking calls about frozen or shattered water pipes from residents. 

Nik Vannortwick is General Manager for Kevin Cohen Plumbing.  He says there’s a gradual buildup of ice that happens after two to three nights of freezing temps.  He says as of Thursday night, his company’s taken more than a hundred calls.

“We obviously didn’t – and couldn’t – respond to all those calls overnight, but we do our best," Vannortwick tells KLCC.  "And prioritize the major emergencies over the minor drips. 

"The normal number of after-hours calls I’d say range from two to twelve.”

Vannortwick says disconnecting garden hoses, insulating water lines, and blocking air vents underneath the house – to better heat the crawl space -- are ways to prevent frozen pipes. 

Putting faucets on a steady drip can also help, as long as it’s not into a clogged drain. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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