Polar freeze closes schools, breaks pipes

By Russ Green/Richmond News

rigid artic air and nearly three inches of snow Sunday forced county schools to extend their holiday break through Wednesday, while plumbers were busy fixing burst pipes.

Richmond Orscheln’s manager Gary Beistle said the most popular items sold at his business the past few days have been heaters, heating stoves and pipes. He adds that sales of wood pellets and ice melt have been strong the past few weeks as well. Tuesday’s warmer temperatures, coming on the heels of the arctic blast – with wind chills at -20 degrees – also led to a boost in plumbing sales.

“When it starts to warm up a little, that’s when the pipes start to thaw and then the pipes break and things like that,” he said. “Seems like Tuesday was the day that pipes were starting to break.”

Some older homes have been seeing an increase in water problems, according to plumber Jerry Penniston of Penniston Repairs. Penniston said a lot of the problems could have easily avoided if homeowners had prepared properly.

“It’s important to let the faucets drip or you’re going to get freeze-ups,” he said. “You should also open up your cabinet doors so heat can get to the plumbing. You also need to make sure you have good sealing around the foundation.”


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