Athens utilities crews work through cold weather - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Athens utilities crews work through cold weather

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For many people in the Tennessee Valley, Wednesday was a snow day. However, that was not an option for some work crews who had to brave the low temperatures outside. 

“Some of our busiest days,” Bryan Hockman, foreman of the Athens Utilities Board water division, said about work when the temperatures drop. 

While most people are staying warm inside, Hockman was headed out for another long day of work. 

“There’s less planned work and way more emergency work,” Hockman said about working. 

On a cold day like Wednesday he said their workload increases. Workers are prepared for everything from frozen pipes to water main breaks. 

In the past two and a half weeks crews in Athens have repaired 14 main line breaks. 

“A water main break requires immediate attention of course because there’s water going everywhere,” explained Hockman, “If it’s below freezing there’s potentially ice on the road.”

The most common emergency call is frozen or busted pipes. Since Saturday, they’ve had 8 of those calls.

While working in the cold is challenging, it’s necessary. So workers do take some precautions.

“You got to carry extra jackets, Carharts, coveralls,” explained Hockman. 

They also try not to work in dangerous places, like on the side of icy roadways. 

“On a day like this where the roads are icy or there’s snow we want to make sure that we’re not a hazard on the road as well,” said Hockman. 

It’s cold and laborious, but these silent heroes are keeping water running in Athens. 



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