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Freeze Problems

The biggest weather-related problems Tuesday involved broken pipes and power outages.

A lot of the trouble was in Buncombe County where more than 5,000 customers lost electricity at one point. The place hardest hit was Swannanoa. Duke Energy's New Salem substation was the culprit and crews tackled the problem early. They scrambled to fix a malfunction, likely caused by a combination of record low temperatures and high demand. While utility work was underway, folks with alternative ways to warm their homes did just that.
There was other trouble, including the late afternoon evacuation of about 400 people from the 1 Hospital Drive building on the Mission Hospital campus. A water-pipe burst and set-off the fire alarm.  

"It's possible that it was a sprinkler line that was close enough to the outside. That this really cold weather took it down," said Toby Kay with Mission Hospital.

Another at the TD building on Merrimon Avenue. A pipe failed and sent water streaming through the walls.

But there was none like the busted pipe in a laundry room up on Town Mountain Road. Water gushed-out and down the side of this six-story apartment building. The cold air formed an ice sculpture cascading down the wall.


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