Cold weather causes water outages in mobile home park

Cold weather resulted in about 100 residences being without water this weekend, and the management company is still working to get service restored for everyone.

A cold spell in Juneau dropped temperatures into the single digits, turning Juneau’s standing water into ice. The wells at the Thunder Mountain Mobile Home Park pull from ground-level runoff, and as Wright Services (the property management company) General Manager Chuck Collins explained, the wells couldn’t pull nearly as much water as usual with so much of it frozen. It’s a problem that comes up most years, he said.

With people in the residences using their water or keeping their faucets running to prevent pipes from freezing, the wells simply couldn’t pull enough water out of the ground to keep up, Collins said. Wright Services employees shut the water off for a little while Saturday to try and help the wells catch up, but didn’t want to have it shut off for too long. They restarted service again, but with so many people using water, the wells again went dry.

Collins was regretful that he didn’t shut the water off for longer to allow more time for the wells to build up pressure.

“We just weren’t able to keep up,” Collins said. “What I should have done was told everybody Saturday, ‘Shut your water off.’”

On Tuesday morning, most of the residences were still without water or with very limited water, but by 4 p.m., Collins said, all but about a dozen residences had working water. Thunder Mountain resident Frances Andrews said she had “a trickle” on Tuesday morning, but by the time she got home just after 5 p.m., the water was on and she had a load of laundry going by 5:15 p.m.

“We are fortunate enough to be able to run to the store for gallons of water for drinking,” Andrews said when her water was out, “but my guess is that there are disabled folks that aren’t so lucky.”

Andrews said her family hadn’t received any notices or updates on the outage or the progress with restoring the wells. She also said that nobody picked up when she called the emergency phone line and when someone did, they didn’t have any answers.

Collins admitted that he’s still looking for more effective ways to communicate with the residents about situations like this. He had employees put postings on people’s doors, but he said it’s possible that not everybody saw them.

Though this is Wright Services’ first year running the park, Collins said this is a problem that happens every year at parks around town. Andrews said can recall this happening twice before since she moved in five years ago, and said the previous owners did a better job of communicating with the residents.

On Tuesday afternoon, Collins said that he and Wright Services employees made a run to Costco and delivered water to residents.

“It’s been a tough weekend,” Collins said, “so we’re doing what we can.”

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.

More in News

(Juneau E
Aurora forecast for the week of Nov. 27

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

A bit of a sun break as seen from the John Muir Cabin, submitted on Dec. 6. (Photo by Deborah Rudis)
Wild Shots

To showcase our readers’ work to the widest possible audience, Wild Shots… Continue reading

The Southeast Alaska village of Metlakatla. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
Biden administration could wade into lawsuit over Southeast Alaska tribal fishing rights

The Biden administration could jump into a high-profile lawsuit involving a Southeast… Continue reading

The gates are locked at the Pipeline Skate Park at midday Thursday, after Juneau’s Parks and Recreation Department announced the facility will be open limited hours until further notice due to an increase in vandalism and drug paraphernalia. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
City: Pipeline Skate Park open reduced hours due to ‘sharp increase’ of vandalism, drug activity

Extra patrols by police and parks staff also planned for facility at Jackie Renninger Park.

A car drives by Mendenhall River Community School on Back Loop Road on Thursday morning. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Woman, two children struck by vehicle while crossing road near Mendenhall River Community School

Victims in stable condition, initial investigation shows driver not at-fault, according to police.

“The Phantom of the Opera” is screened with a live musical soundtrack at the Gold Town Theater in April. Three of the musicians are scheduled to perform Sunday during two screenings of the 1928 silent film “The Wind.” (Courtesy of Gold Town Theater)
This weekend’s lineup at the Gold Town Theater really blows

Xmas Bazaar Xtravaganza nearly sold out already, but seeing “The Wind” to live music a breeze.

Scant patches of snow remain at the base of Eaglecrest Ski area on Wednesday despite snowmaking efforts that occurred during the weekend, due to warmer temperatures and rain this week. The opening date for the ski area, originally set for Dec. 2 and then delayed until Dec. 9, is now undetermined. (Photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area)
Eaglecrest opening delayed again, target date now TBD

Warm temperatures and rain thwart efforts to open ski area on Saturday.

Work crews continue removing hundreds of truckloads of debris from Zimovia Highway since the Nov. 20 landslide in Wrangell. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
Clearing work continues at Wrangell slide; fundraising grows to help families

Juneau, with several thousand pounds of food collected in drive, among many communities assisting.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on Dec. 4, 2005. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of Dec. 10

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Most Read