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Steam is being pumped into Calvary Lutheran Church’s frozen water pipes to unfreeze the water Thursday afternoon. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

By Anna Erickson

An unusually frigid winter with very low temperatures has caused many of the city’s water lines to freeze.

By Friday morning the Park Rapids Public Works department knew of at least 75 homes or businesses running water to unfreeze their water lines.

“I’ve never come across this and I’ve been here 20 years,” said Public Works director Scott Burlingame.

“The frost got so deep down that it’s freezing all these pipes,” he explained.

It’s not just older pipes either. The deep frost line is causing all pipes to freeze.

“All the new lines that are buried nine feet in the ground, are insulated, even those are freezing up,” Burlingame said.

His crew has been busy helping people thaw water pipes or running hoses to a neighbor’s house to get people access to water.

“Some businesses downtown have been bringing in water. It’s a difficult situation,” he said.

Calvary Lutheran Church was working to get their pipes unfrozen and was having steam pumped into the pipes Thursday and Friday.

The Park Rapids Post Office had a port-a-potty placed outside the building.

People are getting creative in trying to get access to water.

Park Rapids is continuing to offering a water credit for the current billing cycle for those experiencing freezes due to extreme cold and deep frost lines.

Residents must apply at City Hall and certify that their water tested at 35 degrees or less. The amount of refund is to be determined. To apply applications are available at City Hall, 212 West 2nd Street. Call City Hall at 732-3163 to report a frozen line or get more information.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561