JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – While many in the metro area were celebrating the new year this weekend some Jackson city employees were hard at work in some frigid conditions.
Plummeting temperatures caused water main breaks across the city, forcing crews into action.
Residents taking a Sunday afternoon walk in the brisk air on Crane Boulevard come upon a Jackson Public Works Department crew making repairs to a broken water main.
Around 4:30 p.m. it was 40 degrees, almost the warmest temperature of the day.
Inside a hole near Old Canton Road freezing water swirls around the man given the task of fixing the break.
"It's a pretty nasty job. It's wet. it's cold. Things of that nature, and you have to haul dirt and back fill once they repaired it," said Jackson Public Works Director Thelman Boyd
It was the fourth job for this crew which was called into service around seven o'clock Sunday morning when it was 28 degrees.
Public works officials say on average crews repair three water line breaks a day, but with cold temperatures those numbers jump to as many as eight.
"We've got some real dedicated employees in the public works department. On holidays we do have emergency breaks any type of emergency our people have to get out and respond. Public works is a 24/7 operation," said Boyd.
By noon Sunday had risen to 38 degrees, and this team was on their second location.
It was off Riverside Drive.
There another water main break in the middle of the street on Linden Place.
"They had to shut it (water) off for about 45 minutes while they fixed it, but the crew came out and had it fixed real fast," said Belhaven resident Eric George.
The aging underground pipes chose the holiday weekend to rupture in front of George's home.
"We started seeing water seeping up through the street. It was running down all yesterday so we actually put a call in yesterday, and they came by and surveyed it this morning," said George.
After the repairs the dump truck arrived to drop off dirt which will be used to refill the hole.
Water service was restored to anxious residents.
But the day still wasn't done.
"And we'll be working over into the night because we know of another break that might cause some low water pressure. So when they finish where they are now they will move to the next location," added Boyd.
To report water main breaks or other water related emergencies after seven o'clock p.m. Daily and on weekends in Jackson call 601-960-1875.
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