Hard Freeze Causes Minor Interruptions

Houstonians prepare for another extra cold night tonight. Last night’s hard freeze caused some minor problems for city officials — but public works employees are working overtime to maintain city services. Laurie Johnson reports.

It may seem like just a little cold snap to folks from up north, but for southeast Texans this is winter like we never see it.

Alvin Wright with the City of Houston Public Works Department says no major problems occured overnight as a result of the freeze.

“What we have been experiencing, which we expected to occur, is a higher number than usual of water main breaks that have occured throughout the city. We’re addressing those as they come in. And we expected them because, as we do during the summer months, when we have extreme temperatures either up or down we’re going to experience those type of situations.”

Wright says on a normal day they get about 120 reports of water main breaks. Right now, they’re responding to about 170 breaks.

“Most of them are minor breaks, but because of the temperatures we want to make sure that we address those as quickly as possible, especially on the ones that occur near major roadways.”

Wright says water main breaks near major roadways take priority because they could create icy conditions if left unrepaired.

Public works employees are on call for another hard freeze tonight when temperatures are expected to drop even lower.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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