Schools To Wait And See On Snow Cancellation; Frozen Pipes Plague Public Works

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As students headed back to school today following their holiday vacation, school officials are keeping an eye on the weather in the event they need to make plans for more off days later this week.

The National Weather Services is predicting anywhere from two to four inches of snow may fall in Middle Tennessee late Wednesday and into Thursday, plus a continuation of the extremely cold temperatures that have been around since the start of the new year late into this weekend.

Even though snow is in the forecast, school officials do not plan to jump the gun when it comes to canceling classes.

"We will wait to see what happens before making a decision on closing schools," Cannon County Director of Schools Barbara Parker said this morning. "You know, the forecasters are not always correct, so we always wait until we see snow or at least know that the snow has hit surrounding counties and is coming our way."

Parker said the cold weather has already created problems at some schools, which had been closed for two weeks.

"The cold has affected the schools in that the buildings were empty for two weeks," she said. "The CCHS boiler did quit functioning some time last week, but maintenance worked diligently all day yesterday and fixed all the units that were affected, so CCHS has heat. I'm sure there were will be other issues related to the coldness as the week progresses, but we will handle those issues as they arise."

The Town of Woodbury is also dealing with issues created by the winter freeze.

"We are already receiving numerous calls where people's pipes are frozen," City Recorder Charlene Odom said. "(Public Works) are very busy working to unfreeze lines. People are encouraged to take measures to prevent their water pipes from freezing during these extreme cold temperatures."

The city released the following information to help people prevent water line problems:

Strategies To Prevent Frozen Water Pipes In Your Home

It is inconvenient to be without water service. This inconvenience can be compounded during the winter months if your water meter or pipes have frozen. Plumbing repairs and property damage caused by frozen pipes bursting can be both widespread and expensive. You can avoid these problems by taking preventative measures to protect your plumbing before and after the onset of freezing weather.

Eliminate Drafts

Take measures to prevent the flow of cold air into your basement or crawl space. Make sure that basement vents are closed and windows and doors create a tight seal. Repair broken glass in basement windows, and seal cracks in basement and crawl space masonry walls. Protect outside pipes and spigots, and wrap all pipes that are in unheated areas.

Freezing Weather

During freezing weather, you can open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathroom to get additional heat to water lines in those areas.

When it is very cold (10 degrees or less) let cold water run in a fast drip from a bathroom or kitchen faucet. This movement of water through your system can keep your pipes and plumbing fixtures from freezing.

If Your Pipes Freeze . . .

Thaw lines safely! If you know where the lines are frozen, you can attempt to thaw them with a hair dryer. With the dryer on a low heat setting, wave the warm air back and forth along the line. It's a slow but safe process.

Don't use an open flame to thaw frozen lines. Open flames can be a fire hazard and overheating a single spot can burst the pipe.

Know your main control valve location and be prepared to turn it off. The line you are thawing may already be broken, cracked or split. Water could come gushing out once the line thaws.

If Your Pipes Break . . .

Shut off the water and the water heater! If you can't find the main control valve, or if the valve does not work and water is leaking in the house, call the Water Department at 563-4221 or 563-2388 (after hours)

If You Can't Thaw The Lines . . .

If none of your faucets or fixtures are working and you cannot determine where the lines are frozen, your service line may be frozen. Call 563-4221. Do not try to thaw your water meter out. Our water maintenance workers will help you to determine if the City service line or the owner's service line is frozen.

For more information please call the Water Department at 563-4221 or 563-2388 (after hours).
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