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Frozen water woes continue for municipalities

RHINELANDER, Wis. (WXPR) -- One of the first communities to ask residents to leave the water running is continuing to have freezing pipe problems.

As of Wednesday morning, the city of Rhinelander crews thawing pipes were running about 30 jobs behind as water pipes continue to freeze in the city.

The extended cold snap has caused many problems along some of the city water mains. Last week, the city asked property owners to let their water trickle, but Mayor Dick Johns says that amount of running water proved to be not enough. "We're asking the community to run (their) water, about the size of a pencil. If it's less than that we've had a couple of areas where the water froze on us, so we're increasing the size (of the water stream) a little bit.,not just dripping, it you need to increase the size a little bit."

Johns says the cold weather has been miserable for city crews. "We have three units out. We've had problems getting electricians in at times and all the things going along with this, including our equipment freezing up in the cold weather. All those things going on and we're doing the best we can. With the change in the weather coming (warming) I think we'll be alright."

Last weekend, at least two retailers on the city's east side had freeze up problems in addition to homeowners.

The city said the water bills will be adjusted to take into account the extra water being used to prevent the freeze ups.