Frozen pipes burst across Denver as city thaws from record cold temperatures

As the Denver subway area thaws after a cold weekend, frozen pipes burst and keep plumbers, rescue workers and firefighters busy.

On Tuesday afternoon in Denver, the fire department had three crews, four firefighters per crew, responding to reports of “burst pipes with splashing water,” said Capt. Greg Pixley, a fire department spokesman.

An afternoon phone call to a local plumber was parked in a voicemail response, putting potential customers on hold “due to the high volume of calls,” a voicemail said.

Many reports of frozen pipes at home. If you think a pipe is frozen in your home, defrost it ASAP or call a plumber for help.

If you do it yourself, turn off the water first. You don’t want water to suddenly gush out of the pipe when thawing.

– Denver Water (@DenverWater) February 15, 2021

Temperatures in the subway region, which began late last week, remained below freezing and in the single digits. Overnight low temperatures set records in some areas, including a minus 16 in Denver. Wind chill factors lowered the dangerously cold temperatures even further.

In Colorado Springs, firefighters have responded to more than 200 reports of defective sprinkler lines in the past few days.

What does a broken sprinkler line look like? May I help you. We have replied to over 200 of them in the past few days. #ColoradoSpringsFire #watereverywhere

– CSFD PIO (@CSFDPIO) February 16, 2021

When pipes freeze for the first time, the problem is not necessarily obvious. When the pipe thaws, the damage usually occurs with water flowing through the burst pipe.

The temperature in Denver was 38 degrees Celsius by 2:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon and pipes were bursting in homes and businesses.

“If anyone needs help, we’ll be there,” said Pixley. “We can’t fix all of the damage, but we can alleviate some of the damage.”

Firefighters often turn off a home’s water supply first when residents don’t know where they are or when they can’t get there, Pixley said. Firefighters sometimes help remove damaged water-filled carpets and floors and use fans to dry out the flooded area.

We have the motto, “Leave it better than you found it,” Pixley said.

Among the Denver firms, the damage reported on Tuesday was White Pie Pizza, which “is working on a solution and will reopen as soon as possible.” Pipes also burst on the Auraria Higher Education campus near downtown Denver.

Bursting pipes are repaired by plumbers and companies that specialize in “repairing water damage in an emergency”. Some remediation efforts may include measures to control mold.

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