What To Do If Your Pipes Burst In This Freezing North Texas Weather

It starts with purchasing a key to open the cover over the water line, usually near the curb in the front of a home.

Video Transcript

- We have learned that the city of Dallas received over 600 calls since midnight from people whose water pipes have burst. Firefighters have only responded to about 150 of those calls.

So, if it happens to you, it's important to do one thing before you call 911, before you grab any dry towels or take video. Here's CBS 11's JD Miles.

- Guys, so this is my house.

JD MILES: These social media videos document heartbreaking scenes across North Texas. Homes, businesses, and even schools.

- Pipes bursting, we've had this is the third of fourth campuses right now we're dealing with.

JD MILES: Are sustaining massive damage from frozen water pipes.

UMAIR AHMED: And it's a little bit of a digging exercise right now.

JD MILES: Umair Ahmed is a Plano homeowner who has only had to worry about shoveling snow and fortunately hasn't had his water pipes break. But he knows what to do if it happens.

UMAIR AHMED: It's pretty easy to do but getting the cover off is hard and you need a special key for that, looks like this. It's a gold key, J looking key.

JD MILES: Ahmed purchased a key to open the cover over the waterline, usually near the curb in front of a home. That's where a valve controlling water flowing into a home can be shut off with a special type of crowbar or with a wrench. Both are inexpensive items that can save homeowners a lot of money repairing water damage.

UMAIR AHMED: You know, you're a homeowner and homeowner comes with certain responsibilities. Among them is knowing how to take care of your property and turn the water off is one of them.

JD MILES: We searched hardware and home improvement stores for a meter curve wrench and key and as you might expect, they were in short supply or out. So if you can't get one before this winter storm passes, be sure to make it a priority before the next one. In Dallas, JD Miles, CBS 11 News.