Wa­ter leaks slow in warmer weather

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­news.com

Calls for bro­ken wa­ter pipes slowed Thurs­day, though dozens of res­i­dents were still dis­cov­er­ing leaks as the wa­ter in their pipes fully thawed af­ter this week’s hard freeze.

The dam­age ap­peared to be limited mainly to res­i­dents and busi­nesses, with hun­dreds of wa­ter cus­tomers af­fected this week; both Covington and the New­ton County Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Au­thor­ity re­ported limited dam­age to their in­fra­struc­tures.

Wa­ter Au­thor­ity Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Mike Hop­kins said his or­ga­ni­za­tion re­ceived about 100 calls Wed­nes­day and a sim­i­lar num­ber Thurs­day, as res­i­dents needed help turn­ing off wa­ter to their homes to limit dam­age and al­low plum­bers to make re­pairs.

“So, far our in­fra­struc­ture has held up well, (and we’ve had) no sig­nif­i­cant leaks on our side, as of this af­ter­noon. We have been blessed,” Hop­kins said.

He said the only ex­tra cost to the au­thor­ity has come from em­ployee over­time; the au­thor­ity has had an ex­tra two to three peo­ple help­ing

res­i­dents.

The city of Covington han­dled around 70 calls to turn off wa­ter, Deputy City Man­ager Billy Bouch­illon said Thurs­day, but the city had no is­sues with its wa­ter mains.

More busi­nesses and build­ings were dam­aged Wed­nes­day, in­clud­ing two Ox­ford Col­lege build­ings that had bro­ken sprin­klers, and Sum­mer­set Apart­ments on Salem Road, which ex­pe­ri­enced some flood­ing.

A cool­ing tower at the His­toric Court­house failed and over­flowed Wed­nes­day, dump­ing wa­ter into the build­ing’s park­ing lot for about 20 min­utes. Sand and cal­cium chlo­ride were placed on the park­ing lot, and no ac­ci­dents or in­juries were re­ported, ac­cord­ing to county fa­cil­i­ties man­ager Ja­son John­son.

Covington Fire Sta­tion No. 2 on Al­covy Road flooded af­ter wa­ter pipes broke, Covington Fire Mar­shal Capt. Tony Smith said early Wed­nes­day, while the fire depart­ment also re­sponded to re­ports of wa­ter pipe breaks at Lit­tle Folks Cam­pus child-care cen­ter on Mill Street.

No ma­jor is­sues were re­ported at area busi­nesses Thurs­day.

Home­own­ers pay­ing for re­pairs may be able to get re­im­bursed un­der their home­owner’s in­sur­ance poli­cies, Ralph Hud­gens, Ge­or­gia in­sur­ance com­mis­sioner, said ear­lier this week. Poli­cies may also cover dam­age to fur­ni­ture and other per­sonal prop­erty.

Tem­per­a­tures were ex­pected to stay above freez­ing Thurs­day night and over the next six days, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice. Fri­day’s high is ex­pected to be 49, while temps could reach 62 de­grees Satur­day and 55 de­grees Sun­day.

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