Recent frigid weather causes damage to several water lines

Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 1/31 6:32 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - Recent frigid weather conditions have caused not only closed schools and created unsafe conditions for driving this week, it has also damaged water pipes throughout the Tennessee Valley.

No one like to be without running water but that was the case for more than 200 residents at Ridgemont Apartments in Red Bank.

Residents spent nearly two days without running water after a water pipe broke not once but twice in the same location due to extreme frigid temperatures.

"To have no water for an entire day is not ok.Then this morning I had to go take a shower at work just so that I could take a shower at all today," said resident Melody Russell.

"I have a small one so that make it a little more difficult when you need water right off the back. You just don't know how much you need it when you don't have it," said resident Shannon Galyon.

By late Friday afternoon, repairs were completed and water was restored.

But while tenants at Ridgemont Apartments were dealing with the lack of water as a result of broken water pipes, Residents in East Ridge near the intersection of McBrien Road and Greenbriar Road were dealing with too much water.

The area started to flood after a water main broke. When temperatures dipped below 32-degrees that water turned into thick sheets of ice that forced the city to set up detours.

"The water completely froze over that road and it was dangerous," said East Ridge resident Zach Templeton.

"It was frustrating, especially when we wanted to come out here and we couldn't come out in the yard or play. We had to stay up here because the flooding actually pretty bad," said East Ridge resident Drema Canales.

In downtown Chattanooga, third street was completely closed between Market and Broad Street after a water pipe broke.

According to Tennessee American Water external affairs manager, Daphne Kirksey, the past two weeks have been pretty hectic because the water company has received more than 100 service calls related to broken water pipes.

"We've had an unusually cold month and so it's just been really busy," Kirksey said.

So busy that some customers have become frustrated. Tennessee American Water is aware of that frustration and has crews working around the clock to fix the list of broken water pipes.

"Right now there is a very high call volume because of the weather event all over the U.S. so they may have a little bit of a wait time but if they can just be patient and wait through that, they will get an answer," Kirskey said.


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