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Cold snap bites pipes; water worker injured

– Plunging temperatures have taken their toll on the city’s water mains.

City spokesman John Perlich said Tuesday afternoon there had been four water main breaks since 1 p.m. Monday, including two Tuesday morning.

The city is replacing nine miles of water mains a year, but it still has miles and miles of aging pipes from the first half of the 1900s. During hard freezes, those brittle pipes can easily break.

A City Utilities worker helping repair the break at West Washington Boulevard and Rockhill Street was injured after being hit by a vehicle overnight. Perlich said the worker was hospitalized but is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.

He didn’t have further details on the injury or how it happened, but he said the city’s initial investigation shows that workers were following all safety protocols and work rules. Attempts to obtain more details from Fort Wayne police Tuesday were unsuccessful.

To report a water main break, call 311. On holidays or after hours, calls are routed to water maintenance staff.