TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– As wind chills fell below -30 degrees at times during the winter storm last week, one of the biggest lasting consequences has been a substantial increase in frozen pipes around the Wabash Valley.
Servpro Vigo marketing and communications director Mike Latta said the holiday weekend was one of the busiest the company has had in years.
“This is probably one of the biggest weather events that we’ve had since the floods way back in 2008,” he said. “We’ve just never this seen this multitude of calls that we’ve received in the past.”
Silver Birch in Terre Haute, an assisted living facility, had a sprinkler pipe burst on the 3rd floor of their building on Sunday. The pipe was repaired by that night– but the facility saw water damage to floors, ceilings and walls throughout the building. A statement from the company said one resident was moved to a room down the hall as a result, and cleanup efforts should take a few days.
Tim Murphy, the Deputy Fire Marshal for the Terre Haute Fire Department, offered several tips residents can do to try and combat the low temperatures.
“Anything that you can do to insulate and protect attic spaces, crawl spaces, basements, doors windows, anywhere that air is going to enter your home, business, apartments, whatever your situation is, will be beneficial,” he said.
He also said keeping a faucet dripping can be a useful tool.
“A trickle of water is harder to freeze than static water,” he said. “Having a nice trickle from your faucets will prevent those from freezing up as well.”
Murphy said the cold temperatures can also bring an uptick in house fires, and said residents should be cautious using space heaters, making sure to plug them straight into the wall and to keep the space around them clear. He also said stoves and ovens should not be used to try and warm up a home, and urged people to seek out community warming centers instead.