Many people dealing with leaky pipes as ice thaws - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Many people dealing with leaky pipes as ice thaws

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After 60 plus hours of freezing temperatures the thaw is on. But with today's sun and warmer temperatures, people are dealing with pipes that burst and flooding. A minister at a local church says she thought the worst of it was over.

"One of the girls who works here, she heard the pipe burst and came down here. So we are very fortunate to have found it so quickly to prevent a lot of damage," said Nancy Markham, a minister at Christ Church United Methodist.

Today, she and other staff were busy vacuuming and blow drying the kitchen floor, which was soaked when a pipe burst. A tiny crack caused a major problem.

"I'm like why now? it's getting warmer," Markham said.

The pipe was fixed within minutes. Rendon Davis owns a plumbing company. He  says work orders like this are common after a freeze.

"Quite a few thawing will begin to start happening and the water right now is frozen in place and as soon it starts thawing it will start showing all the leaks immediately," said Davis.

Davis had a think stack of work orders just for today. He says in the past 24 hours, he's received triple the number of phone calls he usually gets in an average day. In some facilities, several pipes are damaged.

"We've been having six to seven in some homes, and also in some businesses, and quite a few businesses that have had major floods," Davis said.

Golden Corral on Cahaba Valley in Pelham had several inches of water on the floor as well. The Blount County Sheriff's Office in Oneonta will be closed until further notice. It had a water line break in the roof. Governor Robert Bentley says even pipes at his house burst and cause nearly $50,000 in damage.

"If you have water that was frozen as of this morning, I would definitely be aware of what's going on in your home because you could come home to a large mess."

Davis says this is a lesson learned for some. He says it is always wise to keep the water dripping a little and keep cabinets open.

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