Construction Crews Battled Freezing Cold Waiting to Fix Broken Water Main

PITTSTON, Pa. -- The frigid temperatures didn't make it an easy day Thursday for a construction crew who were at a water main break in Luzerne County all day long.

That water main broke around 8 a.m. in Pittston.

With temperatures dipping into the single digits, outside is the last place anyone wants to be.

But for this construction crew with Leeward Construction, workers were punching in their time cards in the cold in Pittston

“Very cold,” said Gerald Margrave. “This morning was about -8 so it was cold setting up here this morning."

Pennsylvania American Water says a 20-inch water main on parsonage street broke, affecting 450 homes and businesses.

No customers lost water.

But the problem for the crew?

The water company had difficulty shutting off the water, so all they could do was wait for hours to fix the main.

“We've been out since 8 o'clock this morning, waiting for the water main to get shut down with the water company and they're not having any luck,” said Margrave. “At this point so, all we can do is wait until the water gets turned off enough that we can start the repair.”

“It's pretty cold, winds going, water's going,” said Matt Linde.

In order to keep these workers from being harmed by the extreme cold, a heated tent gives them a spot to warm up throughout the day.

“We get little breaks inside of the tent, step out of the cold air for a little bit and go back to work,” said Margrave. “If not we'd have some serious frostbite issues on our hands.”

“We got a tent set up for the guys and we have enough staffing to kind of accommodate the cold weather, we cycle guys in and out, short work periods to try and keep them warmed up,” said Ray Leonard.

“Kept us going all day, kept us warm, for the most part, but got to keep going,” said Linde.

At around 9 p.m. the water company said it still couldn’t shut off the water, so repairs will be done Friday morning.

And customers will not lose water during that time.

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