Kurt Hildebrand

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January 15, 2013
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Record freeze bursts pipes, leaves roads slick with ice

Cold temperatures will soften slightly over the next few days, but will remain well below freezing for the foreseeable future.

A strong inversion layer will increase haze in the Carson Valley and keep cold temperatures in place, according to the National Weather Service.

Minden Weather Watcher Stan Kapler reported a low temperature on Sunday of 6 degrees below zero. That's only 5 degrees short of the record of minus 11 set in 2007, and well below the average temperature of 17 degrees.

South Lake Tahoe set a record of minus 14 degrees on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

A broken sprinkler line on the 18th floor caused heavy damage at Harrah's, including the high roller room and knocking the elevators out Monday and Tuesday.

Ice from three days of record low temperatures set the fire sprinklers off, said Tahoe Douglas Fire District Fire Marshal Eric A. Guevin.

Guevin said that while the casinos took damage from the freeze, he's more concerned for those places at Lake Tahoe that didn't have heat or the water turned off. When the weather warms up he expects they'll get a lot of calls.

"We're recommending people check on their properties and make sure they're doing fine, and either have heat or the water is secured in some way," he said.

Guevin suggested that when home and business owners find frozen pipes to call a professional.

"We've had people take thing in their own hands and cause fires," he said. "It can be really dangerous."

Lows through the rest of the week are forecast to remain at 12 degrees or lower through Friday night, climbing into the upper teens on Saturday.

High temperatures will warm up into the 40s by the end of the week, according to the National Weather Service.

East Fork firefighters received reports of broken pipes in Minden and Genoa.

Frozen pipes caused damage at four Stateline casinos on Monday.

Town of Minden representative said there have only been a few calls so far to have water shut off from the source, but that as temperatures warm up, they expect more.

Freezing temperatures combined with Friday's snowfall left icy roads in many Carson Valley neighborhoods.

Gardnerville Ranchos District Manager Bob Spellberg said that the district doesn't order snowplows until 6 inches of snow falls. He said the district hasn't seen a snowfall like that for at least two years.

The district does sand important intersections, he said.

Kapler reported 2 inches of snow fell on Friday night bringing the total for Minden up to 13.5 inches.

Minden has a similar policy toward snow removal on streets, according to the town's Web site.

The combination of a sunny day on Saturday and below zero temperatures the following nights left some roads solid sheets of ice.

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The Record Courier Updated Jan 16, 2013 09:48AM Published Jan 15, 2013 09:13PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.