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Exposed pipes underneath mobile homes can freeze

By Orlando Salinas, osalinas@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jan 07 2014 05:54:02 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 07 2014 06:31:19 PM EST

WDBJ7 New River Valley reporter Orlando Salinas spent some time with folks who live in mobile homes who did what they can to protect their pipes. Last night lots of pipes cracked because of the bitter cold and tonight may not be much better.

BLACKSBURG, Va. -

The freezing temperatures have left many dealing with frozen pipes.

On Tuesday at least a few folks were doing what they could to protect pipes underneath their mobile homes.

Victoria Shepherd lives with her kids in her mobile home in Blacksburg.

"I've never had busted pipes I've been here almost five years," Shepherd said.

Shepherd peeled back the skirt around her home and crawled inside. She pointed to where she'd placed a small heater underneath to keep the pipes from freezing.

"Orlando, I crawled back this way. Do you see a heater back there?"

I crawled until I saw that small heater that Victoria put there herself the day before, after the bitter cold cracked a water pipe. Then I crawled backwards until I was out. Victoria told me the night before, her pipes burst and she learned her lesson.

"So this time I left the water running, plugged the heater up, left it running all night. Still no water," she said.

Inside, the floor cabinets were wide open, a couple of heaters were going and even the oven is on. With all that going, there's still no hot water in Shepherd's home.

Across town, Chris Dowdy slid out some of the underpinnings around his mobile home. Dowdy, the father of two young children, said he could hear a pipe leaking underneath.

Dowdy said the property owners sent out letters telling folks to run the water in those pipes.

"Keep it running so they don't freeze and if the pipe freezes the park has to come out and they charge you to unthaw your water," Dowdy said.

Plumbers say that underpinning is very important when the weather turns bitter cold. Without it, exposed pipes can freeze fast, and eventually burst.