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Bursting pipes across Saskatchewan as extreme cold continues

It is easy to forget that many parts of Saskatchewan had no snow and were experiencing plus temperatures just a few weeks ago.

Now, however, day after day sees frigid temperatures across the province and it is beginning to have an effect.

In Regina, both people and buildings have been hit hard by the cold, including city hall, which was forced to close after a pipe burst overnight. The building has remained closed all day Monday.

Across the city, videos have surfaced online of burst pipes in hotels and apartment buildings.

Curtis Beingessner, the manager of Arrow Plumbing and Heating in Regina, said the number one call they have been receiving over the last few days is for no heat, and number two is burst pipes.

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“The main reason for burst pipes is either no heat inside the home, or when sometimes with the wind that we’ve had, the wind will blow where there’s pipes that run along an outside wall. And if there isn’t a lot of insulation, it could freeze the pipes,” Beingessner said.

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To avoid a cold home, he said you should have your furnace serviced every fall and have someone checking your home every day if you are away during a cold snap like the province is currently in.

“If you have a high-efficiency furnace, make sure that venting is clear,” Beingessner said. “When we get winds like this and snow blowing around, a lot of times what happens is that the snow will blow into the intake and then it’ll shut the furnace off.”

And while temperatures are likely to improve near the end of the week, the cold hasn’t stopped yet.

“Saskatchewan will definitely still remain in very cold conditions, at least for a little bit longer,” Natalie Hasell, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said. “Overall, the temperatures are improving already tomorrow. But we do have just enough winds to give us some significant frostbite risk.”

She expects temperatures to return to around seasonal averages this weekend into next week. Currently, Environment Canada expects temperatures to reach -13 C Saturday in Saskatoon, while Regina will reach -12 C.

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