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With Cold Weather Protocol Extended, Aquarion Issues Frozen Pipes & Meters Advisory



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HARTFORD — Governor Ned Lamont has announced that due to trends in the forecast indicating that temperatures in Connecticut will generally average about 10 degrees below normal for the next two weeks, he is directing the state’s severe cold weather protocol — which he activated on Friday, January 14 — to remain in effect through noon on Wednesday, February 2.

It was originally set to expire Wednesday, January 19.

Current forecasts are indicating that over the next two weeks, highs in the state are generally expected to be in the 20s, with lows in the single digits or teens. At times, the state may experience a few arctic outbreaks during which highs may only reach about 10 degrees, and lows will dip to between -10 and -20 degrees.

“It’s appearing that over the next couple of weeks we’re going to experience temperatures that are even colder than what is normal for this time of year, in addition to the potential for multiple winter storms,” Lamont said. “This long-duration severe cold weather can be life threatening if someone is outdoors for extended periods of time. Shelters are open across the state, and I urge anyone in need to get connected to these services. If you or someone you know is in need of shelter, call 211 and they will direct you to a nearby location and can also provide transportation if needed.”

The purpose of the severe cold weather protocol is to ensure that the most vulnerable populations receive protection from the severe cold conditions. While enacted, a system is set up for state agencies and municipalities to coordinate with United Way 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to make sure that anyone in need can receive shelter, including transportation to shelters.

The following actions are implemented while the protocol is enacted:

The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection’s Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security activates its WebEOC communications network, which is an internet-based system that enables local, regional, and state emergency management officials and first responders to share up-to-date information about a variety of situations and conditions.

The system is used to monitor capacity at shelters across the state, enabling 2-1-1 to act as a clearinghouse to assist in finding shelter space for those who need it. Local officials, working through WebEOC, can alert 2-1-1 and the state when they open temporary shelters or warming centers.

The Connecticut Department of Social Services, Connecticut Department of Housing, and Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services coordinate with 2-1-1 and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, along with community-based providers, to provide transportation for people seeking shelter.

For emergency management news and resources, visit the state’s CTPrepares website at ct.gov/ctprepares or download the CTPrepares app to mobile devices at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Avoid Frozen Pipes & Meters

With winter’s severe weather and cold temperatures blanketing the region, Aquarion Water Company is encouraging customers to take steps to avoid the damage, cost, and inconvenience that comes with a burst water pipe or a damaged water meter.

Property owners are responsible for protecting their water pipes and water meter, whether interior or exterior, from cold temperatures. Aquarion suggests customers follow a few simple tips to keep the water safely flowing all winter long:

*Check water pipes near uninsulated or drafty walls, doors, floors and windows, including in basements, garages and attics. Add insulation wherever possible.

*Keep all doors and windows tightly closed.

*Fill cracks in walls and openings around doors and windows. Insulating or wrapping pipes can also help.

*Locate the main water shut-off valve to your home and show all household members how to turn it off in the event of a burst pipe.

*Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around pipes along outside walls.

*In extreme cold, let faucets drip.

*If a water meter is in an outdoor pit, check to see that the pit cover fits properly and has no cracks through which cold air can flow.

*Never use a torch or open flame to thaw a pipe.

*Customers who see or suspect damage to water pipes should call a licensed plumber for assistance. In the event of a frozen or damaged water meter customers should call Aquarion’s Customer Care Center at 800-732-9678.

For additional information, customers can visit aquarionwater.com/frozenpipes.

With frigid temperatures and sub-zero wind chills expected for the next few weeks, thoughts turn to the safety of people and pets, and the protection of pipes and other water service hardware.
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