Melting snow and ice causes puddled roads for drivers

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by Karen Zatkulak

NWCN.com

Posted on January 26, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 10:46 AM

BOISE -- The warm temperatures mean the snow and ice that has been with us for weeks is finally melting away.

However, all that water is now causing plenty of problems.

Whether you were out driving or walking on Saturday, you probably saw plenty of puddles.

While the ice has been melting above ground, in some cases it's still frozen, underneath.

That means ice is blocking the street drains causing massive puddles, huge pools of water, and headaches for many people.

Driver faced deep waters around town this weekend.

What was a skating rink is quickly turning into a swimming pool.

Tyler James Bush lives in East Boise. He tells us he woke up to water nearly covering the intersection outside his home. "Everything seems to be melting and our corner is definitely flooded," he says.

Bush tells us it's the worst he's ever seen.

Neighbor Julie Day was worried about flooding waters spilling into her basement.

 Day says on Saturday morning she tried to help drain the water. "I thought well if I take a pick maybe it's frozen, but I could hardly, I just turned around and went back to my house."

Day says she quickly realized there was no way she could fix such a massive problem.

Fortunately, the Ada County Highway Department could.

Their crews were out all day, busy with clogged drains and flooded streets.

We found them at several locations throughout Boise.

Reed Wymond is a General Equipment Operator with Ada County. "We're just out here trying to keep the water off the roads, it's melting pretty fast so we just want to make things safe for everybody."

Crews tell us usually its ice that's blocking the gutters.

They say when they can't clear out the water, they bring in a truck to brush and vacuum the flood waters.

Meanwhile, United Water Idaho crews were busy as well.

We found them working on a frozen meter, but they say they were also called out to about twenty broken pipes as well on Saturday morning alone.

Public Affairs Manager Mark Snider says, "Those pipes had water in them, they've frozen, well now that it's thawing, the water is expanding and cracking those pipes and they're getting a flooded front yard or backyard."

As for United Water Idaho, they tell us the good news is they had no water main breaks on Saturday.
 
Just reports of things like sprinkler lines bursting. They say while they fix the pipes from the water main to the meter, the lines from the meter to your house are your responsibility.

Therefore, it's up to the homeowner to call a plumber and get those pipes fixed once the water is shut off.

Those United Water Idaho crews do have some advice -- they say you should know where your emergency shut off valve is located, just in case your pipes break.

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