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Water main repair crews brave frigid Tulsa temperatures

water main repair
Posted at 8:49 PM, Feb 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 11:16:08-05

TULSA, Okla. — Thousands across Green Country huddled inside under a blanket Sunday night, but not everyone can cuddle up in the comfort of their own home.

City crews brave dangerous temperatures to repair main water lines.

"Cold weather. Being cold for so long," Don Ward of TG Excavation said.

Blowing snow and breathtaking temperatures. Real temps double digits below zero were not cold enough to keep city water crews off the slick streets.

“We’re seeing water running down the road and that’s what we’re here to do. To try to fix it," Ward said.

2 Works for You met up with Ward and his crew near 21st and Yale. The group worked to repair one of its first line breaks on snowy Sunday. One of more than 16 breaks city crews and contractors rushed to fix.

SEE MORE: City waterline break board

"Water bubbling up out of the ground. Shooting out of the ground. Large amounts of water running down the curbline," Josh Bilby, Tulsa Utility Systems Operation Manager, said.

Bilby said lines are broke due to several days of frigid temps. He said main street line breaks, like one at 9th and Sheridan, are important to take care of quickly.

"Until we can get out there and really get started on it, it’s going to be a hazard," he said.

Bilby also urged his water repair crews to take care of themselves. He said working long hours in freezing temps, and walking through water is a recipe for danger if they’re not mindful of their own warmth.

“It’s really kind of rotate in and out. Get in and get warm. Get your fingers and feet warm. Get your face warm," Bilby said. "All that exposed area that is out and in this get it warmed back up and don’t spend too much time out in the cold temperatures.”

Bilby asks drivers to avoid roads near a water main break, but if you have to drive it, he cautions to take it slow, because the water will freeze and make the street slick.

If you suspect a water main break, call 311 to report it to the City of Tulsa.

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