BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Local water crews in Buffalo are being forced to fix water main breaks as sub-zero temperatures and an Arctic Blast hit Western New York, which have been tough on workers from the Buffalo Water Board and other local water authorities.

We followed Buffalo Water Board crews as they responded to several water main breaks in the city, in the dangerously cold temperatures. We found water gushing from a water main break on Herkimer Street, that’s on the city’s west side. The water board says the call came in around 6 a.m. and it took crews a couple hours just to get out there to assess the break.

Residents on one block of Herkimer had their water shutoff while repairs were made, but as that water was pumped out, it quickly turned into ice.

“We do the best we can to get it salted, we call the streets department, they come out, they usually respond really well, my understanding when it’s this cold, salt doesn’t always help that much so hopefully we’ll scrape up the remaining ice to keep traffic flowing and keep it safe,” said Mike Wolasz, the water distribution superintendent of the Buffalo Water Board.

Water board crews themselves had to dress warm. We also found another water main break on Elk Street and Melvin Place where about 20 homes had their water shutoff Friday morning as repairs were made.

“It’s a lot of water out here, the water is shutoff in our house, it’s pretty bad out here,” said Jaquan Brown of Buffalo.

Throughout the day, the Buffalo Water Board had to rely on contractors, that’s because some workers from the water board had to call off, due to the Buffalo School District closing school due to the cold.

The water board can’t say for sure that the water main breaks were caused due to the cold, but of course, there are more water main breaks when the temperature drops. The Erie County Water Authority is advising people to run a thin stream of water from your faucet to help prevent water lines from freezing or bursting.

Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.