About a dozen homes on Helderberg Avenue were without water Wednesday morning as town crews worked to repair a broken water main on the coldest morning so far this winter.
The 8-inch pipe broke shortly before 3 a.m. on Helderberg Avenue near the Curry Road intersection, Highway Superintendent Larry Lamora said. Town highway and water department workers responded and were able to fix the break by about 8:30 a.m.
“It was cold,” Lamora said. “We had troubles with the trucks freezing up on the way to the job because it was so cold out. The equipment was freezing up on us because of the cold, but we overcame that.”
The stretch of road from Curry Road to Priscilla Lane was closed due to water gushing onto the street and turning to ice. After crews filled the hole along Helderberg Avenue, the road reopened to traffic around 11:10 a.m.
Lamora said the break was due to the age of the pipe as well as the bitter cold, which caused the ground to freeze, become thick with frost and put pressure on the pipe. Temperatures dipped to 12 below zero Wednesday morning in Rotterdam, making it the coldest day of the season so far, according to the National Weather Service in Albany.
In August, Clark Collins, the town’s water consultant, urged major upgrades to the town’s network of water pipes — which dates to the mid-1950s — after several mains broke over the summer.
A June 30 break of a 20-inch pipe on Princetown Road set off a chain reaction of four additional breaks and left much of the town without drinking water for four days. On Aug. 9, a 20-inch main burst, causing streets and homes to be flooded and leaving a giant hole in Bernard Street.
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