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Posted: January 7, 2014 4:43 p.m.

Water pipe breaks increasing as cold lingers

Record low temperatures in Covington have residents bundling up and are starting to break more water pipes throughout the county.

Water pipes
Residents should be on the lookout as water pipes are beginning to break more frequently this afternoon as the cold spell lasts longer. Covington Fire Marshall Capt. Tony Smith said the fire department has had 10 calls in the last three hours but said calls are "constantly coming in now" as of just after 4 p.m.

Mike Hopkins, executive director of the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority, said customer calls have started coming in in the last hour.

"However I suspect tomorrow will see an increase in calls of busted pipes as the temperature gets into the mid 40’s," Hopkins said, saying leaks will become noticeable as frozen water liquifies. "As of now we are providing assistance to the homeowner by helping them turn their water service off until repairs can be made by phone or in person if they are unable to shut the water off at the meter."

Hopkins advice: "Be on the lookout for leaks, cut the water off at the meter, if unable to cut the water off call water utility whom you pay your bill, and call a plumber."

Covington Deputy City Manager Billy Bouchillon said the city has had around 25 calls today about busted pipes. The calls have been spread out, but the Stone Ridge subdivision off Flat Shoals Road has been hit harder than most subdivisions, Bouchillon said.

Check out this story for advice from the state insurance commissioner about how your homeowner's insurance might pay for busted pipes.

Snapping Shoals EMC

Roughly 300 customers who have Snapping Shoals EMC have experienced power outages and crews are working to change around 35 underground transformers that went bad overnight due to the cold weather, spokeswoman Leigh Anne Burgess said Tuesday morning.

Newton County Fire

There were “quite a few” trees that blew down throughout the night, according to Fire Chief Kevin O’Brien.

Covington Fire 

Getting more calls for breaking water pipes Tuesday afternoon.

Newton County Sheriff’s Office 

No weather-related issues reported. 

Covington Police Department 

No weather-related issues reported. Captain Ken Malcom said the traffic was “extremely light.” 

Social Circle 

A few of the older homes had frozen pipes; other than that there were no weather-related issues, officials said.

City of Covington

No weather-related issues reported.

Oxford

No weather-related issues reported.        

Porterdale

No weather-related issues reported.

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