PORTLAND, Ore. – Emergency crews and plumbers were scrambling to shut off water at homes and businesses where the recent cold snap has cracked pipes. As temperatures warm, more leaks will reveal themselves and the plumbers expect to be fixing pipes for days to come.
The water-related 911 call numbers are staggering: Portland Fire and Rescue estimates it’s received more than 400 calls and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue says it’s received about 100 in the past five days.
"If people feel that their situation merits a 911 call then by all means give us a call, we’ll come out and help. If they know that they can handle it on their own, great. With that said it’s really great to know where your water shut off valve is,” said TVF&R’s Pete Scott.
Knowing how to shut off the water is critical to minimizing damage.
Khoi Nguyen is a plumber with more than 25 years experience in Portland. He’s never seen a cold snap so hard on pipes.
“I do feel bad but you know it’s me and a couple guys and we get to what we can get to so we try to get to the emergency ones,” said Nguyen, who is the owner of Lotus Plumbing.
He and other plumbers expect more water emergencies as the Metro area comes out of the deep freeze.