Austin Fire Dept overwhelmed with hundreds of broken pipe calls

Low temperatures break pipes all over Austin

By 6 p.m. Austin Fire had received 685 calls to 911 about broken water pipes in one day. AFD says they were only able to answer a fraction of those calls.

The Austin Fire Department says they have received nearly 700 calls about broken water pipes since midnight and they can only respond to a fraction of them. This number is three times the number of calls they received the day before.

AFD received 685 water pipe calls after pipes burst due to freezing temperatures in central Texas. For hundreds of Austinites, this was a reality when their homes flooded Tuesday.


Jessica Rio told FOX 7 that she was watching Netflix on the couch in her apartment in the Agave South Congress Apartments as water streamed through her wall and soaked her entire living room. She says she has never had blackouts or problems before.



Austin Fire tweeted a water pipe break in the 705 apartments on S. Lamar at 12:30 p.m. Water flowed from the terraces of several apartments for hours before the water was finally turned off.

“It was like a waterfall,” said Michael Rodriguez, tenant of the 705 apartments.

Rodriguez says this wasn’t the first pipe explosion in these apartments. He says one happened three days earlier. “The alarms went off, that was the first sign, and after the alarms we looked around and the power went off next. That night it came from 1am to 2am. When the storm came and when the storm came came we were actually noticed that the water pipe near the gym was breaking more. “

Austin Water says it responded to two major water breaks today. Austin Water advises residents to keep taps dripping throughout the day as long as the cold persists (five drops per minute). This will prevent your pipes from freezing and later exploding.

Thousands are left without electricity as temperatures in homes drop to near freezing

Austin Energy says there are no other options for rotating outages that wouldn’t affect power in places like hospitals or 911 call centers.

If residents discover frozen pipes, work on thawing them. The scale provides tips for thawing a frozen water pipe.

When defrosting a pipe, it is important to start at the tap and then work your way through the pipe. If you have electricity, you can thaw a frozen pipe with a hairdryer, heat lamp, portable space heater, hot towels, or electric heating tape.

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