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Nearly 100 households continue to cope with frozen pipes

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The deep freeze is continuing to make things miserable for some homeowners.

Across West Michigan, frozen pipes are becoming a big concern. In some communities, warnings have been issued.

In Kalamazoo and Portage, officials are asking people to take action to keep things from getting even worse.

In Kalamazoo, city leaders say they're overloaded with broken pipes. It's only expected to get worse when colder temperatures return next week. Right now, nearly 100 water customers are known to be dealing with frozen lines, waiting for help from the city.

The city says crews have been working around the clock and it could take two to three weeks before they can come to help you.

To prevent pipes from freezing, the city is telling anyone on the city water lines to run one faucet at a pencil size stream 24 hours a day, until April or May. Their bills will be adjusted accordingly.

The city of Portage is also urging customers to run a small stream of water to prevent freezing pipes.

Kalamazoo City Manager James Ritsema says, "Our crews are working tirelessly in addressing this. Unfortunately, we only have only two pieces of equipment on hand and it takes about three to six hours to thaw a service line."

Some signs that pipes are frozen: Decrease in water pressure, water that's rusty or cloudy and very cold water. Pipes with a history of freezing need to be monitored.

For those with frozen pipes, the American Red Cross is offering free bottled water to residents at the Red Cross chapter building. Three local YMCAs are also offering free use of their showers to those without water.

Officials say, even if things warm up, continue to run that water until further notice.