Busted pipes are busting through budgets

KIMT News 3 - Cities statewide have been struggling to keep their pipes warm this winter which has led to a number of water main breaks and many homes without water.

However, it’s not just residential areas struggling with the issue.

Mercy Family Clinic here in Sheffield would normally have patients filling in their waiting rooms midweek, but thanks to a frozen water main that’s not the case.

The clinic has temporarily moved to the Mercy Franklin Medical Clinic in Hampton, while the issue is being taken care of in a timely however, not so budget friendly manner.

Jim Borgstrom is the Vice President for clinic operations with Mercy Medical Center North Iowa and says facility crews have been working on the issue and have made some progress, but they’re not too thrilled about the time frame or the price.

“I’m sure there’s my going to be an hourly rate that will be charged for the plumbers,” Borgstrom noted, “but we were closed for Monday and Tuesday, so that was an inconvenience to patients, so we wanted to minimize that amount of time.”

Timing was everything for the Watson family in Mason City.

It has been two weeks since the Watson family has heard the trickle of water anywhere around their home, but it is finally back and has a hefty price tag coming along with it.

Homeowner Molly Watson says they had to rend out a ground heater to attempt to thaw things on their own, but no success, they went with the professional approach.

“There’s definitely a cost that comes with trying to get this figured out,” Watson said.

She said that while the sticker shock left her and her family a little taken by surprise, they’re just happy to have their home back to its original working condition.

“It’s not cheap at all but when you think about the price of not having your water if we’re left to just leave it to thaw it’s going to be months probably and we were just trying to come up with any alternative that we could.”

There are several other families in her neighborhood that have been without water for nearly two and half weeks.

Many of the families are attaching garden hoses to other neighbor’s homes to have access to running water, but for the most part, families that are still dried up are simply waiting for spring to come and for things to thaw out on their own.

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