The Oklahoma City government is asking its residents to safely conserve water as the city repairs several water main breaks caused by below-freezing temperatures.
“We have one more cold night and we’re trying to recover,” City of OKC utilities director Chris Browning said during a Thursday afternoon news conference.
The city has responded to 19 breaks to water mains since Wednesday night as well as hundreds of service calls.
“We’re struggling to keep the hospitals under pressure,” Browning said.
Several hospitals have reported frozen pipes or water bursts nearby. As of Thursday evening, the city was repairing a main break near OU Medical Center in northeast Oklahoma City.
The break caused no interruption of care, according to an OU Health spokesperson, but there were some water pressure issues.
A pipe broke inside Integris Hospital on Portland Avenue that prompted the emergency room to evacuate, according to an Integris spokesperson. It was cleaned up shortly after.
“We are working very hard to keep (the OU Medical Center) in water,” Browning said. “We need your help. We need people to reduce water demand.”
Overnight city water use was tripled the average amount, according to mayor David Holt.
In order to safely conserve water without allowing pipes to burst, city officials have asked residents to constantly run water from faucets that are attached to exterior walls.