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Utilities: Frozen water lines easing across region

Published 10:19am Wednesday, April 23, 2014

So long, deep freeze?

Local residents received another sign winter is gone and spring could be here to stay.  pipes

Austin Utilities announced Tuesday the threat of water lines freezing is almost gone. Utilities officials saw a historic number of frozen water lines over the bitterly cold winter.

An unprecedented 169 frozen water lines were reported. A typical winter averages less than five frozen water line reports, according utilities officials. What’s more, Austin wasn’t the only community to experience a record of frozen water lines.

“It was the same all over southeast Minnesota and northern Iowa,” Keven Maxa, engineering supervisor, said.

The sustained cold weather and lack of early snow cover contributed to a frost level that was up to 2 feet deeper than typical frost levels. City staff reported frost levels more than 6 feet deep under paved streets.

The residents of Austin who are still letting their water run should now be able to stop. However, officials still urge residents to check water temperatures one last time to make sure it is 40 degrees or above.

Numerous water services that were still frozen thawed within the past few weeks.

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