The Great Columbus Sub-Zero Water Main Break Of 2014

Extreme cold apparently can wreak havoc on municipal infrastructure. At least, that is the conclusion I’m drawing from the fact that a water main broke in downtown Columbus today, after the temperature outside fell below zero.

IMG_1666Unfortunately, the water main break occurred between the office and where I now park my car. As I walked on my normal route to my parking spot, I saw police cars and other emergency vehicles blocking access. I also saw rivers of water running, sluggishly, down Fourth Street and Gay Street and Long Street and the alleys in the vicinity and turning into ice. And, because it was windy, water was being sprayed everywhere, leaving sidewalks sheathed in an icy blanket.

I had to give the area of the water main break a wide berth to get to my car. This meant I was exposing my face to sub zero temperatures for longer than might be advisable, but since that was the only way to avoid tromping through water and ice and being sprayed with freezing water on a bitterly cold day, it seemed like the most prudent course.

IMG_1670When I finally got to my car, my face felt like a block of ice and the temperature showing on the car’s external thermometer was six below zero. Even running the heater at full blast, it took the interior of the car about ten minutes to warm up.

Now I can only hope that the break gets fixed by tomorrow morning, and that they somehow figure out how to clear the streets of a river of ice before rush hour hits. I wonder, though: how can you fix a water main break when the temperature outside is 6 below zero, and it is supposed to get even colder overnight?

2 thoughts on “The Great Columbus Sub-Zero Water Main Break Of 2014

  1. Problem is you cannot fix a broken water or sewer pipe in artic vortex degrees, our Ohio infrastructure was not designed nor meant to hold up in antartica below zero degree temperatures, we will continue to experience problems long term, from the failure of electrical grids to water main and out going sewer pipes to natural gas shortages and propane and oil shortages which have already occurred. are all affected, get ready for the national guard to come in and rescue us, problem is where are they going to house us all? its the end of the world.

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