The historically cold weather is apparent to anyone who stepped outside this week, but it's also caused plumbing problems inside homes and businesses in Billings.
When the employees at Countertoppers in Billings Heights walked into work Wednesday, they did not find their normal warm workshop. Instead, they found standing water, as the business' boiler had gone out.
Richard Eyre, the owner of Countertoppers, said it was a problem that could have seriously damaged the machines that do the hard work.
“If they’re full of water and it’s frozen up, then they’re not going to run, and we’re out of a job for the day, basically," Eyre said.
Eyre is one of the many people around Billings who spent part of their day trying to get in touch with plumbers around town. Fortunately for Eyre, he managed to get ahold of Dave Christoferson, who's been very busy.
“Just yesterday we got about 70 calls," Christoferson said as he fixed the boiler at Countertoppers. "I’m at probably 30 or 35 so far today."
Christoferson has worked as a plumber for 19 years. He said it's normal to be busy during the winter, but this week was extreme.
“It’s just a really weird time where we have really high humidity and really cold temperatures," Christoferson said. "It’s a perfect scenario for a bad situation for heating systems."
Christoferson's day started around five Thursday morning, and he expected to be working long after the sun went down — something many would complain about, but not him.
“I enjoy it because people are in a bind," Christoferson said. "Their businesses are at stake. They have to keep it running. So, there’s a lot of self-accomplishment at the end of the day."
And customers like Eyre are grateful.
“We wouldn’t be working today if it weren’t for him, so he nailed it," Eyre said. "We couldn’t be more thankful."