Temperatures in the teens are causing water pipes to burst all over Rhode Island. Plumbers statewide are flat out responding to an upsurge in calls for help.
A Cranston-based plumbing company says its call volume has increased 70 percent because of cold weather-related water pipe ruptures. Carlos Cardeal, a foreman at Statewide Plumbing and Heating, says 99 percent of all pipe breaks can be attributed to two causes: a lack of insulation in the home and keeping the temperature of the house too low.
UPDATE (Jan.10): Verizon sent a trio of techs today to examine the Digital Lines. They found a splice point on a pole near the Wheeler Farm end of the circuit where water had gotten past the weatherproofing. The splice was re-done, with fresh (and better) weatherproofing sealant applied, and a weather box placed around it.
That's likely the culprit here: the problems started during the snowstorm, so probably water got in there and expanded/contracted repeatedly as the water froze and melted. That expansion wreaks havoc with (relatively) fragile copper telco wiring.
As of 3pm we are back on our main STL. We've noticed the volume levels seemed to have changed somewhat with this repair, too, so we're still tweaking things.
Rhode Islanders are digging out of the first snow storm of 2014. Six to 10 inches of snow fell Thursday into Friday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a winter chill advisory for the region as wind chills are expected to reach -15, with a high around 14 degrees. Forecasters predict the snow will taper off around 10:00am, winds will pick up reaching 20 mph.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee said he’s pleased with how the state handled the first snow storm of the year. With crews out keeping roads clear, his concern now is the bitter cold that’s gripped the state.
Advocates for the poor are raising concerns about proposed changes in Rhode Island’s utility shut-off rules.
For years, Rhode Island law has forbidden utility shutoffs from November 1st through April 15th. Under new rules being considered by the state Public Utilities Commission, that window would be closed April 1st and people would have earn less to be protected.
Debbie Clark of the George Wiley Center, a non-profit that advocates for the poor, said an April 1st moratorium shutoff is far too early for chilly New England.