UPDATE: Rockford Residents Cleared To Stop Running Water

- UPDATE (4/8/14): The city of Rockford says it's safe for residents to stop running their water.  The recent warm weather has warmed things enough below ground that pipes are no longer at risk of freezing.

"Our field crews are indicating that the frost is out of the ground" says Public Works Director Tim Hanson.

During the bone-chilling winter, over 240 water service lines were frozen.  Typically, the frost level during the winter is only three feet below the surface.  But, with wind chills hitting -50, the frost depth went six feet below the surface.

Crews brave the cold to dig through layers upon layers of frozen ground. Trying their best to give water pipes and mains some relief from the frost and ice.

Tim Holdeman, Superintendent of water for the city of Rockford says that the cold has done lots of damage.

“Due to the extremely cold temperatures, we have had several more than normal frozen services.”

City hall has received ninety phone calls and counting, from residents who are without water. With so many calls coming in Holdeman says it is a process to get the workers out to the scene.

"Usually within a day or two we have the service restored. But because of the large number that we have had over the last couple of days that has slipped to 2 or 3 days."

Many residents throughout the city have no running water and for some in the Southeast part of the city including Tom Alms who has lived in the area for over 30 years. The City of Rockford gave him an early morning wake up call.

“I came to the door and one of the people from the city water dept was here and had a little tag and said they were going to be shutting off the water.”

The homeowners in the area are not the only ones who are dealing with troubles. For every frozen pipe or water main break the city loses big money.

"We expect that this will be at several hundreds of thousands of dollars in unexpected expense to deal with this problem this year." said Holdeman.

Tom says that he is getting by without his running water.

“You can make sandwiches and eggs...you don't need the water for that.”

Some residents are very angry that they have to wait hours or even days for the city to respond to their water issue. Holdeman says that city hall tries their best to calm down the complainants.

“There are a few customers that will get a bit over the top if you will. of course we try and calm them down first and then let them know that we are going to take care of the problem as soon as we can. “



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