Some businesses stay busy, despite icy weather

Heating and plumbing technicians working overtime to respond to calls about frozen pipes and broken heaters after icy weather Monday. (KXAN: Jacqulyn Powell)
Heating and plumbing technicians working overtime to respond to calls about frozen pipes and broken heaters after icy weather Monday. (KXAN Photo/Jacqulyn Powell)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Many businesses told their employees to stay home and stay safe Tuesday. Across town, that meant it was a little harder to find stores and restaurants that were open.

While one big snow day can mean a big loss in profits for those businesses, those that did stay open and worked through the cold had anything but a quiet, slow day.

Employees at Wright Bros. Brew and Brew on Austin’s east side said because other restaurants in the area were closed, they were busier than ever. “Around 2, 3 o’clock, every seat was filled up,” said Mateo Mares, and employee at the coffee shop and bar. “Most places being closed — work, restaurants, they can come over, get a coffee, get a wine, a beer.”

Heating technicians and plumbers also stayed busy.

“We’re getting quite a few calls for heaters that are stalling out and for some frozen pipes,” said Sarah Casebier, owner of Radiant Plumbing and Air Conditioning.

Casebier said she worked to keep her employees off of the icy roads as much as possible, but they still had to respond to some emergencies.

“We had a few calls today of just people that couldn’t wait, and then everybody else is being really kind and holding on for tomorrow morning,” she said.

Casebier says more pipes are sure to freeze overnight, meaning her technicians will continue to feel the effects of the icy cold for days to come, working extra hours.

“Typically, what we see in our plumbing company is it’s the day after it’s really settled in, it’s really cold, and then we’ve seen that effect in the pipes,” she explained.

She says often, homeowners think they’re doing enough, but their pipes still freeze over.

“Commonly, people will just drip the faucet,” she said. “And what can happen is it’ll start to actually freeze around that little bitty drip, and then before you know it, that pipe is busted. So the thing to do is actually to create a small, steady stream that is flowing, and then go back and check it every so often just to make sure that it is still flowing.”

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