City opens resource centre for residents with frozen pipes

The City of Winnipeg has opened a "Frozen Pipes Citizen Resource Centre," officials announced Saturday as the number of properties with frozen pipes climbs by 31.

Cleaning kits, place to shower comes as 31 more properties lose water services

The city opened a resource centre at the Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex for Winnipeggers who have lost water service because of frozen pipes. (Jillian Taylor/CBC)

The City of Winnipeg has opened a "Frozen Pipes Citizen Resource Centre," officials announced Saturday, as the number of properties that have lost water due to frozen pipes climbed by 31.

It's at the Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex and is meant to provide drinking water, information and snacks to residents who have lost access to city water and are waiting for either the city to thaw their pipes, or the weather. 

“Running a household with no water is a challenge and by establishing a one-stop resource location for citizens we hope to help families and individuals access information, resources and opportunities to alleviate some difficulties,” said Randy Hull, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the City of Winnipeg in a news release. 
The city opened a resource centre Saturday for residents living without water due to frozen pipes. People can take a shower at the Cindy Klassen Rec Complex, or pick up kits to help them clean up without water. (Jillian Taylor/CBC)

CBC reporter Jillian Taylor added, "What you can find here is a place to fill up your water jugs. You can come and take a shower and you can talk with 311 operators in person instead of having to wait on the phone. You can also set up appointments to get a hose line ... and meet with people from the Salvation Army and the Red Cross to get resources."

Hull said the centre is a one-stop shop to try to make it easier for the hundreds of people living without water. 

"People are resilient, but I think people are now finding knocking on the neighbour's door and saying "Can I refill my jugs again?" is starting to get a little thin," he said. "I think people want to be more independent, get their jugs filled in their own time frame and have resources available to them."

As of Saturday afternoon, the total number of properties that have lost water due to frozen pipes is 1,150, up from 1,119 on Friday. While that's still an increase, it is about half the number of properties that were being added to the list every day last week. 

The Citizen Resource Centre at Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex, 999 Sargent Avenue, will operate Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

It is to provide people with: 

  • Sanitization instructions and drinking water refill stations
  • containers of water  (also available at select Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Stations)
  • in-person access to a 311 service representative for frozen water  pipe reporting and temporary hose line assistance
  • personal comfort kit and waterless cleaning  kit from the Canadian Red Cross  Manitoba Region
  • access to refreshments supplied by The Salvation Army 
  • access to shower facilities
  • access to recreation and reading activities on site

The city plans to open two more resource centres, one on the east side of Winnipeg and one on the south end, as early as next week. 

Although nearly 800 properties have a temporary water source, the latest statistics from the city indicate the number of properties at risk has grown by almost 500 - last week nearly 5,000 were at risk, now, that number is 5,447.

The city released these latest statistics Saturday afternoon:

  • Number of frozen water pipe reports this winter (since November 2013)     1,862
  • Number of properties where water has been restored (e.g., thawing)     712
  • Number of properties on the list for City thawing service           1,150
  • Number of properties with City-installed temporary hose lines     358
  • Number of properties without a water supply to their taps due to frozen pipes     792
  • Number of properties at risk of interruption in water services     5,447