Galveston officials urging people to conserve water after deep freeze causes pipe problems

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Crews in Galveston working to fix broken pipes during water emergency (KTRK)

Thousands of people are without water on Galveston Island because of broken water pipes.

Our recent freeze caused so many pipes to burst that the water supply on the island is falling fast and conservation measures are being ordered.

Plumbers have been working overtime trying to fix thousands of broken pipes. Workers say not even insulation was enough to prevent the damage.

"Being out here, even though it was insulated, you got the north wind blowing, water froze and just shattered the pipe," Weldon Bollier with Island Mann Plumbing said.

Bollier and Emanuel Sledge worked non-stop Thursday repairing pipes, but there is still more work to be done.

"The house is out of water right now. We did repairs yesterday, cut the water back on and there was additional damage done," Bollier said.

At Mann Plumbing, the work order board is flooded with jobs. There are so many Post-It notes that there isn't enough room to fit them all.

"We've got several situations where we've got underneath the houses. All the pipes are completely shattered," Raymond Mann of Island Mann Plumbing said.

More than 5,000 people called the City of Galveston to report broken pipes.

Even the city has to fix broken pipes. A water main ruptured Friday morning at 55th and Avenue P.

The leaks drained the island's water supply to 60 percent of capacity, forcing the City of Galveston to issue a stage four water conservation alert.

Until the repairs are made, people are being told not to water lawns, wash cars, run fountains, and to be quick in the shower.

"We still urge people to contact us if they see any water leaks. Look at your neighbors' houses, look in your neighborhood. We have a lot of second homes down here. If you own a second home in Galveston, come down and check it out or contact someone to check it out for you," Galveston City Marshal Michael Gray said.

The city says it has helped shut off more than nine valves due to leaks and officials expect the stage four conservation measures to be in place throughout the weekend because it will take that long to restore the water reserves.

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Galveston orders emergency water conservation

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