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Hundreds Still Without Water Across The Baltimore Area

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The record cold and fluctuating temperatures are only making Baltimore's water problems worse. As pipes continue to burst, some people are reaching their breaking point.

The mayor says with water calls up 1,200 percent, the city is doing all it can.

Rick Ritter was out in the neighborhoods.

Close to 400 people are still without water--some of them have been without for days. With temperatures expected to remain below freezing Friday night, more outages could be in line.

A familiar sound that stretches throughout Baltimore--a desperate attempt to patch up busted pipes, as hundreds of residents are still without water.

"It's very frustrating," said Gary Hayes Sr.

Frigid temps are to blame, snapping many like toothpicks.

"I've been working in Baltimore City since around '99, and I'd say this is the worst winter we've had as far as emergency breaks," said Randy Van Dyke, Spinello Companies, superintendent.

Charles Village is just one area that's been hit hard.

"We didn't have water at 9 p.m. I think on Tuesday or Wednesday night," said Robin Ly.

Some can't help but laugh.

"I was trying to brush my teeth, so that was kind of hard. I had to use some bottled water," said Ly.

With the cold temps, water main breaks are popping up all over. Crews spent hours along Sequoia Avenue digging up the road just to try and find the main line.

"Sometimes just where the leak is showing isn't necessarily where it's coming from," said Van Dyke.

Gary Hayes is one homeowner who's struggled for water at times.

"My kitchen water's been slow. Really slow," he said.

With temperatures fluctuating from freezing to warm, it only makes matters worse.

"It's frustrating cause it's cold. But the water pipes are old, so you know they're going to break," said Hayes.

The mayor says when dealing with a backlog of calls that started at thousands, it takes time.

"I want to ensure them that I hear them and that we are working around the clock and working with all resources that we have available," Mayor Rawlings-Blake said.

Noting they've made drastic improvements, but aren't in the clear just yet.

City officials are urging residents to allow a thin, steady flow of water through their faucets to prevent pipes from freezing.

Customers without service can call 311 to have bottles of water delivered to their homes.

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