Frozen pipes keeping plumbers busy

      EUGENE, Ore. - Warren Colvin hasn't had water for more than a day.

      His pipes froze - and then burst.

      Luckily, he did have water during the height of the snowstorm.

      He noticed the problem while getting the newspaper.

      "I heard a noise coming out of the well house that was not right," he said. "I walked over, opened the door and water was spraying everywhere."

      Colvin is not alone.

      Petersen's Plumbing is getting around 300 calls per day.

      The cold temperatures are wreaking havoc on Lane County homes.

      "Water expands 10 percent when it freezes," Bernard Petersen explained, "so when it does that, it breaks things, and it doesn't matter how strong the material is, it'll break it anyway."

      People can take several actions to keep their pipes warm and intact.

      Petersen suggests covering outside vents and letting a small stream of water continuously flow out of problem fixtures.

      "Anybody whose got a pipe on an outside wall for example a kitchen or bathroom where there's cabinets, open the cabinet doors," he said. "That'll allow the heat to get under and keep them there."