By Suzanne Le Mignot

SKOKIE, Ill. (CBS) — In the brutal cold, public works crews have no choice but to work and bear it, especially, when it comes to fixing broken water mains.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot takes a look at what the crews in Skokie have been doing and enduring.

Crews have been working since 5 a.m. on Main Street near Skokie Blvd, after a water main turned this street, into an ice skating rink.

Village of Skokie Water and Sewer Division crews use a back hoe to reach a broken water main.

“Well the crews, they’re dressed warmly. When they excavate, they can take shifts going in and out of the truck to stay warm. Once they get it excavated, they will put a repair sleeve on it and hopefully, we’ll be done in a couple of hours,” said Skokie Water and Sewer Superintendent Jean Scher.

So far this year, the brutal cold has caused 20 water main breaks in the Village of Skokie.

“That’s right on task with. We’ve had about 25 per year in January,” said Scher.

During the summer, about 12 water mains break on average in Skokie. The repair time is about two to three hours. In the cold, that time ranges from six to eight hours.

“In this weather, the frost prevents the water from coming up at the actual point of the leak, so the water could surface 100 feet from where the actual break is at,” said Scher.

The work is far from over for the crews. They’re going to be working on another water main break on the 6900 block of Lavergne, throughout the evening.

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