Pipe repairs in Galveston after hard freeze

- Residents in Galveston are still being asked to conserve their water as the city says it has lost a significant amount because of burst pipes.

Galveston was well below freezing for more than 18 hours during that cold snap and the hundreds of pipes that couldn’t handle it are now being repaired.

“A hurricane you can get ready for," said Joe Martinez who has lived in Galveston for all of his life. "This was kinda like, 'Wow, man!' It was cold. If it wasn’t for my neighbor helping me, you know, I would’ve been stuck like having to get it done myself."

Martinez can’t remember dealing with the kind of cold that led to a pipe bursting just behind his house where his 96-year-old father lives.

“Once we got this going, we thought it was good and then when you went to turn it on, it broke from down here in the middle," described Martinez as he demonstrated how the outside water line busted near the main.

Just down the street from Martinez, crews worked in the rain to repair a busted city water line as they blocked off traffic on Herds Lane.

“This is a surprise, this is a very surprise," said Galveston resident Lee Rhame Jr. "We don’t get busted pipes that often. We don’t get this cold freeze,

City utility crews shut off water to almost 1,000 locations in Galveston because of burst pipes. The city enforced Stage 4 of its Drought Contingency Plan as the water supply began decreasing at a concerning rate.

“It’s winter time here, you know, a lot of the homes are empty until they come on the weekends," said Galveston City Manager Brian Maxwell. "We think we’re going to start picking up more calls this weekend.”

The level of Galveston's water storage tanks has increased since the Drought Contingency Plan was enforced. The plan is to stay in Stage 4 over the weekend.

Residents can report the leaks online at www.galvestontx.gov/freeze or by calling 409-797-3550.

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