Arctic Chill Freezes Heartland Homes

(Marion, IL)--When the temperatures dip near zero and the wind blows in from the north it adds up to freezing troubles for Heartland homeowners.

Normally it doesn't get cold enough here in the Heartland during the winter to freeze water pipes under homes. But wind chills into 10 below zero is leaving hundreds of people without running water.

"This morning when I woke up I turned on a faucet and nothing came out," says Tim Marlo of Marion. "and then I realized I was in trouble."  Marlo was just one of many Heartland homeowners who awoke on Thursday morning to frozen water lines, and called a plumber to help.

"32 degrees won't freeze the water lines, it's got to get down in the temperatures like we're having now, and the high winds combined with those temperatures will really freeze things up." says Rusty Baker with Baker & Sons Plumbing.

Baker had to use a portable heater to try to thaw out Marlo's water pipes, and then crawl under the home to locate where the problem was.

"Even a small hole or a good crack in the foundation, or a mortar seam cracked out between the blocks that's near a water line can freeze a water line very quickly," Baker said.

The Marlo family was one of the more fortunate families across Southern Illinois.  They had only one frozen water line under their home.

"I normally run a water faucet with a little trickle coming out of it when it's this cold. But I didn't do that last night, and I realize now that I should've," Marlo said.