Water main burst shuts access off to dozens of Glendale homes

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by Lane Kimble

GLENDALE -- The extreme cold shut down water service to dozens of people in Glendale Monday morning.

Donna Peterson knew something was wrong when rust came out of her pipes and toilet.

"There was one once before, but they had time to warn us to be able to fill up buckets and that," Peterson said.  "This time we didn't have any warning, there was nothing you could do."

A water main burst along the 2200 block of Marne Avenue before 9 a.m.  Glendale Public Works crews shut down water to about 20 homes on the street and went door to door letting people know.

"We have bottled water and other items to drink here," Peterson said.  "The worst might be if we use the facilities [laughs] but other than that, I don't think there will be [a problem]."

Donna doesn't mind putting off her laundry, but worries about the safety of the crews working right out her door in the extreme cold.

Foreman Steve Devalk's Globe Contractors worked to find and fix the leak.  His team of five rotates in and out of their heated truck to keep going.

"They're numb half the time when you're out there," Devalk said.  "Because you can't  work with gloves on, they're down there with no gloves."

Getting hands to work in this cold is only half the problem.  Devalk's crews fought with their machinery just to get started.  He says their diesel turns to gel in these conditions.

"Fittings are all frozen up, the hydraulics are all frozen," Devalk said.  "Everything freezes up this time of year."

Devalk says they could fix this leak in about six hours in the summer.  In Monday's weather, it may take nine  to 12 hours, leaving Devalk dreaming of warmer weather.

"We've got a long time to go before that comes," the foreman said.

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