Moultrie Observer

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January 7, 2014

Colquitt County weathers hard freeze

MOULTRIE — A hard freeze on Monday night stung some homeowners whose pipes burst after the temperature plummeted, but no serious widespread affects were reported.

City workers were busy on Tuesday shutting off water from houses where residents had pipes burst due to the freezing temperatures.

“It was a good many,” said Moultrie Utility Director Roger King. “A lot of times we’ll have to go turn the water off because they don’t know how or don’t know where the (shutoff valve) is. We’ve had a lot of them all day, and we expect to have some more tonight.”

Several large-volume natural gas business customers also voluntarily curtailed activities on Tuesday after the company providing the city’s supply curtailed the amount due to pipelines being at capacity.

No residential customers are expected and none will have service interrupted.

King did not know Tuesday whether the city will have to contact interruptible business customers again today due to low supplies of natural gas.

“We have a daily allotment that goes from 10 a.m. to 10 a.m. the next day,” he said. “We’ll come in the morning and take a look and see where we are. If we’re fine we won’t have to make the phone calls.

“There are no risks to any of our residential customers.”

The gas situation should return to normal by Wednesday at the latest as the bitter cold retreats back to the North.

The city’s systems did not suffer any adverse consequences from the weather, King said.

Four people spent the night Monday at a shelter set up at Greater Newton Grove Cathedral, said church pastor the Rev. Cornelius Ponder. One of the four men who were the church’s guests that night was able to get in touch with his parents after someone recognized him on a television news broadcast.

“When he heard his mother’s voice, he just started crying,” Ponder said. “We were able to get one of the men in contact with his family. We were glad he was able to talk to his parents.”

The men went out during the day looking for work, so Ponder was not sure how many people would stay in the shelter on Tuesday night.

The shelter may have one more night of operation on Wednesday when the high predicted by the National Weather Service for Moultrie is expected to be 33 degrees.

As in Moultrie, there also were no serious problems reported outside of the city, Colquitt County Emergency Management Director Russell Moody said.

“We had a few trees down,” he said. “Not many.”

Some of the trees fell on roadways and had to be cleared, but Moody was not aware of any falling on power lines and interrupting service.

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