Western Washington braces for a cold week

by: Lee Stoll Updated:

A deep freeze heading our way is packing the same temperatures that caused pipes to burst and flood businesses across Puget Sound last month.
EVERETT, Wash. —

A deep freeze heading our way is packing the same temperatures that caused pipes to burst and flood businesses across Puget Sound last month.

It took several days to dry out  two floors of Meridian High School in Bellingham after a frozen sprinkler head backed up and blew out a pipe in December.

Lynnwood plumber Steve Egner says he did three weeks of business during the weeklong freeze. 

"It was a huge load for the men - 15 hour days for  seven days straight," Egner said.

His crew is on standby for another round this week.  Temperatures are expected to drop into the teens.

Pipes full of water freeze then expand and break.  When the temperature rises, the water comes pouring out.

 "If you've washed your car in the last two weeks, be sure your hose is disconnected from your outside faucet.  That's where we see the most freeze breaks," Egner said.

 James Wagner was one of several homeowners who still had hoses hooked up in Lynnwood and Everett.

 "I'll probably disconnect it now that you've brought it up," said Wagner.

Snohomish County road crews are already spraying de-icer on some rural roads.  Several counties will re-open their emergency shelters for the homeless. 

Doctors warn the weather could push people indoors and cause a spike in colds, even the flu.  Staying outside isn’t much of an option either.

"You are probably safe for perhaps up to a half an hour but I would strongly urge people rely on their senses,"  said Snohomish County Health Officer Dr. Gary Goldbaum.