Neglected Water-Main Break Leaves Home Sealed in Ice

bob backo house icy pavement

While it's common for extreme temperatures to cause water mains to break. Much less common is for that kind of problem to be left to linger. The strain on public utilities from freezing temperatures in much of the U.S. could explain why a fractured pipe was left to gush water for several hours in a Pittsburgh neighborhood this week, reportedly leaving a family's home sealed in ice.

Homeowner Bob Backo told Pittsburgh TV station WTAE that when he first called the water company on Wednesday, and was assured that workers there would "check it out." Then he called another dozen times as water continued to fill the street above his house overnight and flood his property, he said, before eventually freezing into a thick layer of ice (pictured above) that trapped some family members inside and left his pickup truck stuck.

When the TV station contacted Pennsylvania-American Water Co. about its response to the water main break in Backo's neighborhood of Knoxville -- which wasn't repaired until Thursday -- it was told by a spokesperson that the break "wasn't classified as an emergency" because the outflow of water didn't appear to be causing damage. But as described in the video above, Backo maintains that not only was his yard and driveway affected, but the water from the break entered his house and dripped down a wall.

More about damage caused by ice:
Black Ice Poses More Than One Risk to Homeowners
See How to Protect Your Home in Extreme Cold
For Renters: The 411 on Frozen Pipes

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