Gainesville ties record low as more pipes break


Service plumber Steve Stellmach, with Quality Plumbing, checks on a frozen pipe along NW 80th Boulevard on a freezing morning in Gainesville Tuesday.

Erica Brough/ Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 1:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 1:22 p.m.

It got far enough below freezing overnight to tie a record low temperature and to break more water pipes.

Facts

COLD TUESDAY NIGHT, THEN WARMING

Forecast from the National Weather Service:

Tuesday afternoon: Sunny, with a steady temperature around 49. West wind around 9 mph.

Tuesday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 25. Northwest wind around 6 mph.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 57. Wind chill values as low as 22 early. North wind around 6 mph.

Wednesday night: Areas of frost after 2am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 32. Light north wind.

Thursday: Areas of frost before 8am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 65. East wind around 6 mph.

Thursday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 40.

According to records collected by the National Weather Service, the overnight low in Gainesville was 22 degrees, which ties the record set for this date in 1959.

According to plumbing businesses around the region, the steady stream of freezing nights has created streams of water flowing from broken pipes.

"We've had about double the usual number of calls," said Bryan Nazworth, owner of Quality Plumbing. "On Monday we put off everything else and just worked on frozen pipes."

Many of the breaks were reported in irrigation systems, and Nazworth said they were just as troublesome as those that broke inside homes because they still required the water to be shut off for a while.

"And we started getting calls again this morning because it was cold all day Monday and people may have come home after dark and didn't realize they had a leak but just thought their water pressure was slightly lower," Nazworth said.

He predicted that his crews would continue to get calls for help with broken pipes for several days after warmer weather moved into the region on Thursday.

"In some cases it is just a slit in a pipe that starts as a slow leak but as we thaw out, it could get bigger," Nazworth said. "And we will start hearing from people who may have an empty rental house who didn't know they had a leak."

The weather service is predicting one more night of freezing temperatures, then a slow warming trend, with daytime highs reaching 70 by the weekend and overnight lows around 50 by Saturday night.

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