Rapid thaw could wreak havoc on pipes, roadways in Midwest

DETROIT (AP) — Much of the Midwest was preparing for a rapid thaw after this week’s polar vortex sent wind chill temperatures plummeting below minus-50 in some places. But the transition to warmer conditions threatens a new set of problems.

Ruptured water mains, leaky pipes and gutters, an influx of potholes and flooding of roads and bridges are among the potential repercussions of such a sudden temperature swing.

Two dozen busted water mains being patched Wednesday in Detroit swelled to 44 on Thursday and likely will rise following an expected 60-degree temperature swing.

Water department Deputy Director Palencia Mobley says soil around mains has water in it. That contracts and expands, making the ground and pipes shift which causes breaks.

Categories: National News