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Cold Weather To Blame For Delays, Water Main Breaks

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Bob Allen Bob Allen
Bob Allen joined the KDKA-TV team in January 2000 as a General...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The extreme cold caused several problems Tuesday.

The cold weather is being blamed for delays on the Port Authority’s light rail system.

Blue line trains from South Hills Village were forced to operate on a single track due to a power outage and disabled train this morning.

Meanwhile, red line outbound service had to be detoured due to another disabled train.

According to the Port Authority, outbound service had to be detoured via the former Allentown line because of a disabled vehicle in the Mt. Washington Transit Tunnel this afternoon. However, regular service has now resumed.

Officials said riders should expect system-wide delays.

Crews also had their hands full with two water main breaks this morning.

Pennsylvania American Water crews were working on their third water main break since midnight. More than a dozen customers temporarily lost service along High Oak Drive in Green Tree.

“Anytime you have an extreme fluctuation in temperature, whether it’s going from warm to cold or cold to warm, sometimes that can put a stress on the pipes,” said Josephine Posti, of Penn American Water.

So far this month, water main breaks have been an almost daily occurrence. Repair crews have to be especially careful while working in the deep freeze.

“They’re wearing layers, we have heaters in our service truck,” said Posti. “We make sure the crews are rotated through so that folks are not out here any longer than they need to be.”

City crews were also called out to fix a water main break on the North Side.

That break happened at the intersection of Sunset Avenue and Essen Street in the city’s Spring Hill neighborhood.

The road has since reopened.

When the temperature goes down, people tend to crank up their thermostats. Now, for the second time this winter, people are being asked to conserve electricity.

Duquesne Light is following a directive from its grid operator and is asking customers to cut back, or postpone, using large appliances.

This is especially important during peak hours between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. tonight.

“With the temperatures dropping and continuing to go down a little bit for the next couple of days they want to keep an eye on what the situation is as far as power supplies go across the whole footprint of PJM, which is 13 states, 61 million customers,” Joe Vallarian, of Duquesne Light, said.

Officials say if you have to run those appliances, do it before or after the peak hours.

Meanwhile, officials with Pittsburgh Public Schools have announced that classes are cancelled once again on Wednesday due to the extreme cold. Click here for the latest delays and closings.

People and their pets were feeling the effects, too.

“I had to push my dog outside to go out,” said one woman. “She didn’t even want to do that, so it was pretty cold.”

“It was brutal. I was going to walk my dog and for her sake I said forget it,” added another man.

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