POSTED: Thursday, January 14, 2010 - 11:22am
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 11:42am
NACOGDOCHES - As Nacogdoches thawed out from last week's freezing weather, city water crews continue surveying the damage the frigid temperatures may have caused to their system.
About 30 water mains broke between last Thursday to this past Wednesday, said City Water Utilities Manager Russell Grubbs and 140 calls were made concerning home water pipes.
Grubbs said that as soon as the temperatures rose, water pipes to homes were no longer threatened. But because the ground contracted and expanded due to the changing weather, water mains were still breaking around the city up to yesterday. However, Grubbs said he now expects conditions to get back to normal, and he does not predict any more major problems.
"They cracked mainly because the ground has been shifting for almost a week," Grubbs said. "When the ground gets cold, it moves a little bit. We've experienced during the hot months that the ground can shift then, too."
An estimated 500,000 to 1 million gallons of water was lost before his crews could dig out the pipes and make the proper repairs, according to Grubbs.
Saying his crews have been working around the clock to get things fixed, Grubbs said he was proud of the workers' diligence and that they did an "outstanding job."
"It's been very hectic for us," Grubbs said. "When its 19 degrees outside, and you're trying to fix a water main, it can be very hectic. But our crews have a good response time, so normally after we get the call, we're working on it within the hour and trying to get it fixed as soon as possible."
The water situation in Chireno was less clear Wednesday afternoon after officials with the Melrose Water Supply did not immediately return phone calls for an update. The Daily Sentinel was told that the schools in Chireno have re-opened, but a boil-water notice remains in effect for anyone served in that area.
Some residents have complained about the slow response of the water company and say they have been without running water since Friday.