Landlords ask tenants to help protect pipes from frigid weather – NBC DFW

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Landlords expect tenants to help protect their pipes from the severe cold snap North Texas is expecting.

One complex backed off an extreme protection plan. But recent history demonstrates why extreme measures may seem wise.

At the Tides of Timberglen in far North Dallas, some tenants have stocked up on bottled water after an alert from the management Thursday and memories of that big freeze three years ago.

That’s when widespread power outages during days of subfreezing weather froze pipes and caused severe water damage all over North Texas.

Any source of water became useful to help flush toilets.

“We were pulling water from the swimming pool. And we were lucky enough to have water until the last day when the power came back on. But I don’t want to do that again,” Tides tenant Cali Powell said.

Tenants received an e-mail from the landlord Thursday with a long list of precautions to take for freeze protection.

An alarming note in bold print was added at the bottom.

“Water will be shut off on Sunday-Tuesday due to inclement weather to avoid pipes bursting and leaks in homes. Ensure you have enough water or make the necessary

accommodations,” the note said.

“For something like that, such a hardship for so many people, to be just an afterthought, it was a bit of an insult,” tenant Jon Powell said.

But Friday tenants received updated communication from complex management removing the cutoff notice.

A manager in the complex office confirmed for NBC5 that the water would not be cut off.

“Now they’re saying turn your heat on and let the water drip,” tenant Julius Speed said.

In the 2021 freeze with electric power out to many locations, burst pipe nightmares happened all around the region.  Water was pouring from buildings and inside upscale apartments.  Some tenants in the Vickery Meadow neighborhood of Northeast Dallas still drew water from a fire hydrant a week after the freeze-damaged pipes and cut the water supply to their apartments.

At the Tides Friday, plumbing for washing machines in some outdoor closets remained hard to protect from frigid weather.  But the majority of units with indoor pipes should be OK in this upcoming weather event if the power stays on.

The remaining precautions on the list for tenants are still in place.

“Just do all the other things, which we try to do anyway,” Cali Powell said.

The city water supply is expected to be available.

“I just bought a couple cases of water and I got gallons, 8 gallons of water, just in case,” tenant Julius Speed said.

Texas power grid operator ERCOT has provided assurances that electricity will be available to meet demand in these cold days.

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