Plumbers, firefighters work overtime due to freeze

January 10, 2010 7:27:24 PM PST
The hard freezes the last few nights have caused big headaches for homeowners and are pushing plumbers to their limits. They're receiving call after call after call with people needing help with broken pipes. And some emergency agencies are also staying busy. The cold weather is keeping many people indoors, but for people who work in some professions, it's keeping them on the go as they deal with the effects of the temperatures.

A Jersey Village area homeowner is not alone in the problems he is having.

"My wife was in the bedroom and heard a pop and ran outside and saw the water was gushing out," A.J. recalled.

A.J. is one of dozens of calls Jason Wilkins with Abacus Plumbing has responded to.

He said, "I've been plumbing for about eight years and it's never been like this for me."

Plumbers are backed up with calls. Wilkins is putting in 14 hour days and is on call tonight. He says many of the issues are outside. Oftentimes homeowners don't know how to turn the water off.

"It's probably 50/50. A lot of our on calls we will be running tonight are emergency calls," Wilkins said. "A good portion will be from people who can't shut their water off or don't know how."

Plumbers in northwest Houston aren't the only ones feeling the pressure. The cold weather is also keeping emergency crews in Montgomery County very busy.

Montgomery County Assitant Fire Marshal Scott Burlin said, "Firefighters on Saturday responded to approximately 117 service calls. Many of them were weather-related, such as busted pipes, automatic alarms, several fires."

While the temperatures are warming up, solving all the problems this deep freeze caused may take a few more days. Plumbers expect to stay busy for a couple more days. Even as the temperatures are predicted to rise, they will still be dealing with the repairs from the damage the cold weather caused.