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      Crystal Falls works on frozen water mains

      â??Every year you usually have one maybe two, but nothing like this. We haven't had this since 1994,â?? said Crystal Falls Public Works supervisor, Kelly Stankewicz.

      Stankewicz was talking about frozen pipes. On Wednesday, the Public Works department in Crystal Falls worked tirelessly to thaw out a frozen water main on South Third Street.

      â??Weâ??ve had about 65 freeze-ups and we've thawed them, and Monday we had two main lines that froze up,â?? Stankewicz said.

      â??On Monday afternoon, well all morning, I washed clothes about maybe three loads, and I had all my laundry done,â?? said resident, Carol Johnson. â??Then in the afternoon, of course, we cooked and I did all my dishes, and then we had some leftover dishes from some spaghetti, so I thought, well, Iâ??ll just do those, and there was nothing, no water.â??

      On Monday, the city was passing amperage, basically heat via electric current, through the water pipes in order to thaw what was currently frozen. The workers said this process can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours, but in the case of the frozen water main, a couple of hours sounded more likely. And until that all thawed out, residents without water had to use alternatives.

      â??I have these big jugs of water, and so I did the dishes; I heated up the water and then I did the dishes, but all your daily things that you usually do, you can't do,â?? Johnson said.

      â??You don't realize how much you use water until you don't have it,â?? Stankewicz said.

      The â??Let-Runâ?? order in Crystal Falls means about 10,000 gallons per household will be used, which is approximately eight million gallons a month for the city. But not to worry, the city said they won't be billing the customers for that extra water.

      â??Weâ??re doing ok; we're hopeful now that it's going to be resolved,â?? Johnson said.