Dramatic weather shifts causing problems with pipes, flooding

CREATED Jan. 29, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Deep freezes and quick thaws are wreaking havoc on pipes, both big and small.

Sewer systems are taking a hit Tuesday night because of the melting snow and the rain we've been seeing. The record breaking temperatures are also warming up plumbing in homes and businesses, which means pipes broken by cold are now springing leaks.

These busted pipes caused a holy headache at Trinity Presbyterian Church. When the temperature rose, the water went everywhere.

“I was disgusted when I walked in, and I knew, as soon as I saw all that water on the floor, I knew what happened," said said Ruel Fessenbecker with the church.

A half inch of water flooded the main sanctuary, hallways, and fellowship room in the basement. Crews spent the day cleaning up the damage.

"The pipes that were frozen started to release as it thawed," said Dan Gramann with Paul Davis Restoration,

Paul Davis is busy all over town.

"The calls just keep coming in,” said Gramann. “There's a lot of folks who have had water damage to their house because of the freeze."

Sewer systems are also having trouble keeping up with the weather.

Public works crews canvassed the city. Fixing problem spots and freeing debris from sewer grates to keep water off the roads.

"Nine times out of 10, it's more trash and leaves over grates,” said a worker

“So, if you can come out and assist us by cleaning off the grates with trash, most of the time, it'll go down," said Archie Lockwood with the Department of Public Works.

With more cold weather on the way, the work is bound to continue. All part of a wild Wisconsin winter.

“We're gonna have more work, whether it's out in the snow or out here doing code 2s,” said Lockwood. “The more work, the better."