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Heat pops pipes nationwide; brace for water interruptions

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Critical water pipelines are breaking from coast to coast, triggered by this summer’s record high temperatures. It’s not a phenomenon or coincidence, experts say. It’s a clear sign that Americans should brace for more water interruptions, accompanied by skyrocketing water bills. The heat wave of the past few weeks has burst hundreds of crucial pipes in California, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky and New York, temporarily shutting off water to countless consumers just when they needed it most.
“It’s one of the worst summers,” said Debbie Ragan of Oklahoma City’s Utilities Department. As days of 100 degree-plus temperatures bake the region, the utility reports 685 water main breaks since July alone. That’s an estimated rate of four times normal. To keep up with repairs, Ragan said, workers have been putting in 12-to 16-hour shifts. “It’s the heat and the high water usage.”