Several Clark County businesses were busy Friday repairing water damage to homes and businesses and supplying customers with items like wood and propane as temperatures slowly began to rise.
For most of the week, the region struggled with temperatures that hovered in the single digits or plunged below zero after a blast of freezing air covered much of the country.
In Clark County, numerous residents and businesses complained of broken water lines and sprinkler systems as temperatures rose, including one business on South Limestone Street whose owner requested not to be named. However, a cleaning crew that was asked to repair the damage said the ceiling collapsed due to a damaged water line.
Brandon Peterson, owner of Sparkle and Shine Cleaning, said the project could take as many as three days to complete. His company was in the earliest stages of the cleanup Friday, and Peterson described it as one of the worst incidents he had seen.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Peterson said of the damage from broken water lines across the area. “We have been getting a lot of calls and a lot of inquiries about what to do. Our fans are all over the cities in terms of drying out homes and businesses. This is the worst we’ve seen.”
Local hardware stores also saw large crowds of customers stocking up on supplies, including propane, heaters and firewood.
Typically, business is slower this time of year, said Paul Daugherty, a store manager at Ace Hardware in New Carlisle.
“This has been a sweet tune to the hardware stores,” Daugherty said. “Usually this time of year, we’re kind of dead in the water, preparing for spring.”
Since the storm hit, Daugherty said his business had sold at least 800 gallons of propane, along with firewood, heaters, water heaters and other items. The store carries a large supply of heat tape but quickly sold out, he said.
“We have a lot of heat tape, and we carry all different sizes from three feet to 38 feet,” Daugherty said. “They are gone.”
For residents, Daugherty said some problems can be prevented ahead of time, and encouraged residents to have heat tape and insulation around pipes to prevent freezing.