Winter storm: Pott. County towns deal with water issues; how to help prevent frozen pipes

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Plumbers say dripping water through your faucets is still one of the most effective ways to prevent frozen pipes.

After more snow and freezing temperatures that are expected to continue for the next few days, residents of Pottawatomie County — and the state — are encouraged to take care of their water pipes.

According to Pottawatomie County Emergency Manager Chad Larman, the county received around three to four more inches of snow overnight and into Wednesday morning. 

Due to the weather, Larman said various towns in the county have had issues with their waterlines and pipes. 

Wednesday morning, the emergency manager said Tecumseh had experienced some water pressure issues overnight, but the issue stabilized. 

"They believe this was a result of their water treatment plant being down due to a power outage the night before," Larman said. 

In addition, Larman said a well in Maud froze, but the city was able to get it thawed and its water plant was restarted with no issues. 

Larman also said the city of Shawnee is having numerous waterline breaks and crews are actively repairing these issues.

The emergency manager said everyone should do all they can to keep their pipes from freezing in their homes.

"To help prevent freezing pipes, please turn on the hot and cold water on your faucet to have a steady stream the size of a pencil lead coming from your faucets; this includes showers," Larman said.

In addition, Larman said if homeowners have faucets on an outside wall, they need to open the cabinet doors to allow heat in.

"If their pipes freeze please contact a plumber to help get them thawed," Larman said. "If you are using an alternate heat source to try and thaw your pipes yourself, please use caution on how close the heater is to combustibles."

As the winter weather continues, Larman said the County Emergency Operations Center continues to work on these winter storm and utility issues. 

Larman said Pottawatomie County Commissioners held an emergency meeting Tuesday and declared a State of Emergency for Pottawatomie County.

"Governor Stitt requested a disaster declaration for Public and Individual Assistance through FEMA, so we are waiting to see if it gets approved," Larman said. 

Along with work on pipes, Larman said Wednesday that roads around the county were snow-packed, so snow removal operations are ongoing and expected to possibly continue into Thursday as well.

No accidents or stranded motorists had been reported to the Emergency Operations Center as of Wednesday morning.

"I want to give a special recognition to all the emergency managers in the county including tribal emergency managers for working together as a team, and for everything they are doing for their communities," Larman said. 

Check back for updates.