More water main breaks expected in Tampa as temperatures suddenly get warmer

Water main breaks expected as temperatures rise
Posted at 2:40 AM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-09 06:16:10-05

TAMPA, Fla. -- The City of Tampa continues to struggle to fix dozens of water main breaks caused by cold weather.

City officials say they had about thirty water mains break at once. While sixty is the highest number breaks crews have dealt with at one time, thirty is still a very high and unusual number. 

The recent cold weather is putting a lot of pressure on city pipes, causing them to suddenly burst.

South MacDill Avenue at Azeele Street looked like a small creek Sunday as crews worked to seal off the pipe.

Dan White stopped to fill up his car with gas nearby, only to be surprised to see the road closed. 

"Especially since we didn’t go below freezing so I guess it’s just the expansion and contraction of the pipes," said White.

About two miles away, the southbound lanes on North Armenia Avenue between Columbus Drive and St. John Street were closed due to a water main break.

One lane was shut down on East Sligh Avenue between North Florida Avenue and the Hillsborough River for the same problem.

In Clearwater, a water main break caused a closure on Lakewood Road between Norwood and South Duncan Avenues.

As the temperatures quickly climb back up this week, the sudden change can cause even more breakages and crews are preparing for that.

"I thought once the cold snap was over it would get back to normal but it worries me a little bit that this could happen at more locations around town," said Lauren Harmon, who drives the streets of South Tampa every day.

The city posts road closures on its website allowing drivers to track any changes to their morning commute.

"I’m really impressed with how fast they jump on these things," said White. "I hope they get them stopped in a short period of time."

 Officials say the road restoration at Azeele Street and South Macdill Avenue should be finished by Tuesday.