MASON CITY, Iowa - Frozen pipes was the topic of conversation across north Iowa on Monday.
Private hangars at the Mason City Municipal Airport were frozen over along and city water departments throughout north Iowa put out warnings for their residents to be aware of the conditions.
With issues like this involving extreme temperatures, it seems like no one is immune, and the problems with frozen pipes can make everyday life very complicated.
Pete Wheelhouse is one homeowner in Mason City who knows the hardships of frozen water lines all too well.
The Wheelhouse’s and several of their neighbors have been without water for more than a week now and even though living in their home feels like camping, Pete says, there’s nothing that they can do about it.
“It’s too risky to try to unclog it, their machine could either get stuck pulling it out, and if they were to unclog it, you know, water comes out really fast out of the main obviously, and it could flood their basement.”
Two separate crews have headed to the area to see if they can find a solution for the problem.
With no luck, families are relying on five-gallon buckets and running hoses into their home with the help of neighbors who are fortunate enough to have water.
Frozen waterlines are the only thing residents in north Iowa are concerned about these days.
Ed Kent, a landlord who owns several apartment complexes in the Mason City area, says that he hasn’t seen a winter like this in ages.
Because there are days that get above freezing that are followed by nights of sub-zero temperatures, maintaining furnaces in his buildings has become quite a task this year.
“Every year when the weather gets cold, you have this condensation freeze up problem and so we kind of anticipate it.”
Anticipating the extreme temperatures is one way of avoiding issues with water lines and furnaces, and that’s why experts recommend annual furnace checks to make sure that things are working properly, and that homeowners continue to check the temperature of their water and keep a trickle of water going to help it circulate through the home.
The frozen issue has gotten serious enough in the area that the topic is now landing on some city council agendas.
The Northwood city council members will be hearing from the city superintendent about a number of frozen water and sewer lines during Tuesday’s meeting.