More water pipes bursting in Maryland from extreme cold

The number of water mains bursting in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties due to sub-freezing temperatures continued to rise Wednesday, as utility crews worked to fix 48 broken mains, a jump from the 38 pipes under repair Tuesday.

Crews for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) are working 16-hour shifts around the clock to keep up with the spike, officials said. However, repairs that usually take four to six hours are taking longer because workers must take breaks in their vehicles from the bitter cold, WSSC officials said.

Crews have repaired 16 broken mains since Tuesday morning, officials said.

On a typical January day, the WSSC has about eight broken mains, officials said.

Katherine Shaver is a transportation and development reporter. She joined The Washington Post in 1997 and has covered crime, courts, education and local government but most prefers writing about how people get — or don’t get — around the Washington region.

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Katherine Shaver · January 8, 2014