Listen to interview with Escanaba City Manager Jim O’Toole
ESCANABA – City crews are out helping to thaw water pipes in the city of Escanaba. The city has issued a water freeze warning.
Escanaba City Manager Jim O’Toole said the cold temperatures this year have increased the number of freeze ups in the city.
“We have over 100 frozen water lines in town and our water and electric crews are out trying to keep up with demand,” O’Toole said.
O’Toole said residents should keep an eye on their water supply. He said there are things that can be done to prevent freeze ups.
“One of the better indicators if your water line is close to freezing is if the water at the tap appears to look rusty. If that’s the case, we are asking people run the water at a volume at about the diameter of a pencil and call the water department for further instructions,” said O’Toole.
O’Toole said the running water will help keep the pipes from freezing.
If you have experienced frozen pipes in the past, you can call the water department at 786-3291 to be a part of a “let-run” program. An average “let-run” program will use about 400 gallons per day.
If your pipes do freeze, call the city right away to be put on a list for city crews to respond. Response will be on a “first come/first serve” basis.
It’s been taking city crews longer to clear snow in Escanaba because two of their large snow blowers have been out of commission.
One was damaged when it sucked up a piece of metal. City crews have been using dump trucks and front end loaders to remove piles snow from city streets.
“The front loading trucks with snowblowers are just like your snowblowers at home. Whatever is in front of it it will take up. So we had to order parts. And then, the sheer pins on the second unit sheered because of the size of the ice chunks,” O’Toole said.
O’Toole said the snowblower damaged by the piece of metal will be back in service today.