Freezing Temps In Tulsa Put Pipes, People In Danger

Tuesday, January 11th 2011, 5:51 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa is dealing with the coldest days and nights of this winter - so far - with single digit temperatures forecast overnight.

The cold means water pipes can freeze, but it's hard on people too.

When it's this cold, nothing beats working around water. Just ask the guys from the City of Tulsa water department.

They're digging down to find a leaking water line. Eventually they'll be down in the water to make the repair.

After seventeen years of experience, Bill Cunnane has found a simple way to stay warm.

"The beard is very essential for this type of work. Some winters I won't grow it, and I feel sorry for myself when I don't," Cunnane said.

Every man on the city crew had a beard, so it must help.

Everyone has a strategy for coping with the cold when they work outside. For Tommy Hathcock, it's all the clothes he can wear.

"I just got a good thick coats, gloves, boots, and coveralls." Hathcock said.

But he can't control the elements of the job. He was outside, holding a sign for a couple of hours.

"Trying to keep this sign out where they can read both sides of it, that wind doesn't want to cooperate though," Hathcock said.

It's the wind that can make a day like Tuesday really uncomfortable, and according to a plumber, it's the wind that makes a big difference on whether or not your pipes will freeze.

Ryan Headrick of Headrick Plumbing says it's true that hot pipes freeze first, and that new plastic pipes resist the cold better than steel and copper.

"They just need to make sure their pipes are away from the elements such as wind and the cold air mostly. On crawlspaces, they just need to make sure their vents are closed, that's the main thing. As long as they're away from the elements, they're good to go." Headrick said.

And with plenty of wind and cold, and more on the way, there's a danger of pipes freezing in the coming days.

The plumber really insists that pipes under houses and in most walls are fine, if you keep the wind off them.

You can always leave them dripping to make sure, and if there ever was a time to do it, tonight and tomorrow night is the time.

Wednesday's Forecast