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Giant Icicles Form On Pawnee Town Water Tower After Leak

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Icicles on the Ralston water tower. Icicles on the Ralston water tower.
Dave Rogers, Assistant Mayor. Dave Rogers, Assistant Mayor.
Ralston water tower. Ralston water tower.
PAWNEE COUNTY, Oklahoma -

The cold temperatures caused quite the sight in one Pawnee County town.

The water tower in Ralston sprung a leak leaving a gigantic icicle.

People are worried about what will happen when the ice thaws.

The Ralston Corner Cafe has a front seat to downtown Ralston.

Roger Green, a Ralston resident, said, "Ralston Corner Cafe is the place for everybody to meet, kind of like Cheers on TV, yeah, yeah. We solve all the world's problems here."

One problem they're trying to figure out is right across the street, underneath the town's water tower, you can't miss it, a giant icicle.

"Yeah, it's been frozen up there for two days," said Green.

Roger Green thinks it's at least eight feet long.

It formed when the tank sprang a leak. Shortly after, ice formed everywhere on the tower's support structure.

"It's kind of scary," said LaDonna Bartlett, a Ralston resident. "If it falls in, if somebody would happen to be over there it's kind of scary."

The water tower was built in the 1930's and has been repaired several times, the latest just two years ago.

It acts as a holding tank for the town's water supply.

The icicle thawed and fell to the ground just before noon Tuesday, giving everyone a good view of the leak.

Dave Rogers, the Assistant Mayor, said, "We have a lot of elderly people here that are on a fixed income and we're trying to do the best we can for them."

He says the town has contracted with a company to repair the tank but that may not happen for several weeks.

The leak is just one example, he says, of the town's infrastructure that needs to be replaced but there's not enough money to get it done.

"Water is not the issue but our system is the issue," Rogers said. "Our water tower, water lines, it's all old and needs to be replaced."

Rogers couldn't say how much the repairs will cost but the town will dip into its reserve fund to pay for it.

Residents are worried about the long-term impact and what happens as the water continues to leak.

"You got to have water to run your business and keep your schools open and that kind of stuff so, yeah it's kind of scary," Bartlett said.

Assistant Mayor Rogers says, right now, he isn't worried about the town losing water. He says the tank can be bypassed if necessary and, as of right now, they are not asking residents to conserve.

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