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(Laura Figi/Austonia)

With emergency dispatchers "almost continuously" answering phone call after phone call, the Austin Fire Department has already responded to over 100 reports of broken pipes since midnight amid extreme winter weather. Yesterday, there were over 600 reports for broken pipes.


As some Austinites are entering two days without power, AFD has extra crews and vehicles responding to calls ranging from broken pipes, fires and carbon monoxide exposure. With calls rolling in, the fire department told Austonia no one was available for comment on the situation.

In unprecedented weather for Texas, Austin Fire Division Chief Thayer Smith told KVUE that he believes the extreme cold is causing pipes to break sooner than expected and they anticipate even more calls as the weather warms and water thaws.

Click here to view an updated map of water leaks.

Austinites all over the city are dealing with broken pipes, and rumors are circulating that with hundreds of reports piling up, help could be hours away—if it comes same-day at all



According to Daniel's Plumbing, if your water starts to smell foul, looks discolored, begins leaking onto the floor, or water pressure begins fluctuating, you may have a broken pipe. Simultaneously, if you live in an apartment building and begin to hear a fire alarm without smoke in your unit, one of your neighbors' pipes may have burst.

In the event of a pipe burst, call maintenance and locate your water valve to turn it off immediately. If your home or apartment is flooding, unplug everything in sight and cover your valuables.

As Austinites grapple with power outages and breaking pipes, AFD has also received calls of gas exposure where people are using gas stoves or charcoal to heat their homes, resulting in toxic carbon monoxide gas. AFD has responded to two calls today.

Using charcoal or gas stoves inside your home is extremely dangerous, not advised and can result in death. To avoid broken pipes, residents are advised to drip water from faucets and check on pipes.

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