Cold effects: Water main break, freezing schools, possible death

WHEATON, Md. (WJLA) - Crews battling bitter cold temperatures worked late into the night repairing a water main break that left hundreds without water for hours near the Westfield Shopping Center in Wheaton.

"I'm not sure how it happened, but this morning there was no water," said Greta Howard, who lives nearby. She adds that the water just suddenly started flowing later on.

"It's a little dirty, but it's on. It's good to have some water than no water at all."

This break was one of many in the region. In fact, a pipe at Reagan National Airport broke earlier Tuesday, flooding baggage claim in the process. Bags didn’t get wet, but passengers had to wait while crews cleaned up the mess.

The bone-chilling conditions also impacted Montgomery County Schools. Students at four schools were released mid-day due to a variety of weather-related problems.

It was 30-degrees inside Daly Elementary in Germantown, where students kept on their coats and hats because the school had no heat due to a power outage. But Principal Nora Dietz has expressed that the kids were fine:

"The kids have not been in danger," she said.

Others were not so lucky. The freezing cold may have claimed a life, as a homeless man was found dead on Tuesday beside a business on Allentown Road in P.G. County. Police say the victim may have died of extreme cold exposure.

People who work in the area say the man had been living outside near the cluster of businesses for several months.