As frigid weather settled across metro Augusta on Tuesday morning, business activity heated up for plumbing and towing companies.
Avrett Plumbing Co. owner David Avrett said by 10:30 a.m., he’d already gotten 20 calls from homeowners and a couple of businesses that had frozen or burst pipes stemming from the arctic cold.
“This morning they’re calling because they have no water, and usually it’s frozen,” he said. “The water is not getting through the pipes.”
Avrett said more problems can arise once temperatures rise and water in the pipes begins to thaw. If a pipe has burst, that’s usually when people will notice water leaking into a home or building, he said.
Cushman Paint and Body’s wrecker service had an influx of about 10 additional calls on both Monday and Tuesday that were likely caused by the weather, said Chris Brown, who heads the department. Most of the cars that were towed would not start, he said.
“The first real cold snap you have, it’s going to test your battery and your cooling and heating system in the vehicle,” Brown said.
Avrett said he typically sees a spike in weather-related business about once a year and believes it will soon level back out.
“If this keeps going about two or three days then it gets kind of nutty,” he said. “That’s when you get pounded and there are a lot of problems for folks and a lot of hours of work trying to stop leaks.”
It was business as usual for Augusta Disposal & Recycling workers, who started their eight trash and recycling routes in Columbia County on time at 7 a.m., said the company’s contract administrator, Monique Woods.
“We have road supervisors, and they were out ahead of time this morning checking out the roads so everything was safe and clear,” she said.
Employees were told to bundle up and drink plenty of fluids as temperatures hovered just above 10 degrees when they started their routes, Woods said.
Workers in the shop did come in early to start and warm up the truck engines, she said.
“The service doesn’t stop,” Woods said. “The only time that we’ve ever stopped is (for) the ice storm.”