RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A water main break shut down a section of Poole Road in Raleigh for a time Friday morning.
A water main break was reported in the 1900 block of Poole Road at the intersection of Coke Street around 8 a.m. By noon, it had reopened.
According to Ed Buchan with the City of Raleigh’s Public Utilities Department, the 8-inch pipe that broke was approximately 60 years old and “well within its service life,” he told CBS North Carolina via email. “We suspect the extreme cold weather conditions had a significant role in causing this issue.”
“We have a lot of guys on call right now, these guys are working 24/7,” said Buchan. “It’s also related to aging infrastructure, so the old infrastructure that we have is probably going to be a little more susceptible to this extreme weather.”
Utility crews arrived on scene around 8:50 a.m. to begin repairs on the break. City officials originally said they expected the repairs to be completed by 3 p.m., but by 11 a.m. they had already fixed the break and were filling in the hole.
CBS North Carolina also caught up with crews working on a reported water main break on South Person Street near Bragg Street Friday night. A neighbor who used to work for the city’s utility department reported it.
“Oh my God, that’s gonna cause a problem for the morning,” said Tammie Avery, who lives in the neighborhood. “I just hope nobody gets hurt when they’re hurrying in the morning because everybody knows it’s gonna freeze over.”
Officials told CBS North Carolina that they have had about 40 water main breaks in the past week — which is above normal — that were caused by the frigid temperatures.
Although the weather forecast calls for a return to more seasonal temperatures next week, officials said they wouldn’t be surprised if more breaks occur due to the shrinking and expanding effect on the pipes.
“We hope it will get better, but it won’t surprise us if we still have some of these issues pop up as the soil starts to expand from the frozen situation, or shrink, that’s when you’ll see these twisting issues and they shear the pipe. So it may happen again next week,” said Buchan.
Officials said that there are things people can do to prevent water main breaks, including leaving sink cabinet doors open, letting their faucets drip and keeping the thermometer at a similar temperature during the day and at night.
The city is in the process of replacing water and sewer pipes using funds collected from utility bills. Raleigh maintains nearly 5,000 miles of pipes, which also serve several adjacent towns. Replacing aging pipes is part of a ten-year, $1 billion plan to upgrade the city’s infrastructure.
If you need to report a water main break in your neighborhood, you can call 919-996-3245.
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