Freezing weather means trouble for some residents

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DENVER -- First came the cold, then the floods.

Homeowners in Colorado ring in 2015 with busted water pipes.

And it’s keeping Denver firefighters busy.

“It was loud. It was loud,” says Claudia Alvidrez, a resident of Nob Hill Condos at 2929 W. Floyd Ave.

She awoke this morning to the sounds of rushing water--not from the shower--but the ceiling.

“I heard this noise and my whole is full of water and it’s cold,” she says.

Denver firefighters come in to find the source of the unexpected deluge--and cleanup a soggy mess.

A maintenance worker blames the arctic cold for freezing water inside the pipe.

A frozen water pipe is also to blame at this home in Arapahoe County.

But it wasn’t the homeowner who found out about it first.

“I called the fire department and they got into the house. Then, when they opened the garage door it was like a river. It was really sad,” says Sheila Lansinger.

She noticed a stream flowing out of the garage and hundreds of feet into the street, immediately icing over.

She believes the new homeowners are away on vacation for the holidays.

“Something poured out of the house too and froze as soon as it came out,” says Lansinger.

Water also filters out of the siding--creating a wall of ice.

Any time the weather is like this, there is always an influx of calls, especially for water problems,” says Lt. Mike Pylar.

He says, as in this case, homeowners leave home for an extended period of time.

“I think people are thinking, ‘Oh, I can save some money, we’ll keep the thermostat down. And then they come back to a water problem like that,” he says.

A block of ice also encases a neighbor’s sprinkler system just down the street.

Slowly, the sunshine returns, along with blue skies and drier streets--but for some neighbors, the return home will be anything but sweet.

“It’s really sad. They’re going to come home to this. That’s the worst part of it,” says Lansinger.

Pylar says residents should not reduce their thermostat below 65 degrees when going away from home for several days.

They should also shut off the main water valve.

And keep cabinet doors open in their bathrooms and kitchen so heat reaches the water pipes inside.

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