Cold temps cause water disruptions for residents

HOUSTON When Hurricane Ike made life miserable for so many Houstonians, the South family enjoyed something rare -- running water. But when John South ran the faucet this morning, he was worried.

"I was up about 4 o'clock to check the temperature and wanted to see how low it got and found out our water pressure was gone, gave it about 30 to 45 minutes and the water stopped altogether," he said.

With a busy Saturday of baseball tryouts ahead, he did not want to be without water at bedtime.

"When it was first trickling out I was even able to draw a bath and get cleaned up this morning but when we turned on the water and there was none to brush our teeth or do anything like that, of course we were (thinking) I hope we don't have this for several days."

The Souths called their water company, Hays Utility, where an answering service had no answers to give them. Calls to neighbors in North Forest revealed they were not alone.

"I have family members with homes in this neighborhood and they had no water as well," said South.

Then six hours later at 10am, it happened.

"And, it's back on," said South.

The water came back on at full force. Hays Utility says 62 of its 29,000 customers called to report water problems between midnight and late morning. The company says everything on its end was working.

Hays Utility says the cause of the problem was frozen pipes at individual homes and says as the morning wore on, those pipes warmed up. They are advising their customers who've not done so to wrap their pipes. It's something plumbers say can save you a lot of headaches.

"Wrap a bunch of old wadded up newspapers real tight, maybe tape it. Then put some towels or blankets and tape that as well," said one plumber.

The South family tells us the pipes on their home were wrapped properly.

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