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Frozen Pipes Burst at Several Rochester Businesses

Created: 01/07/2014 5:45 PM KAALtv.com
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The cold weather is causing a lot of damage when it comes to pipes bursting. Rochester firefighters have been responding to water main breaks, and sprinkler pipe bursts all day. The residents at Shorewood Senior Living in Rochester are eating their meals outside of the dining room today. That's because right now, their dining room is being worked on.

"We had a pipe burst. One of our sprinklers burst in the second floor of our activity room and obviously hundreds of gallons per minute were spilling and flowing on the floor, down the walls," said Eric Huntoon, the campus director.

The water might be gone now, but it left behind a mess. Several floors, ceilings, and walls in need of repair or replacement.

"Those things happen when you have a complex this big and you're always trying to stay on top of your maintenance, but mother nature sometimes overcomes even your best intentions," said Huntoon.

And Shorewood wasn't alone. From 6:00 Monday evening, to about 3:00 Tuesday, firefighters in Rochester responded to 11 different incidents of pipes bursting. On a normal cold winter day, they would see 2-3 at most.  

"This is a little bit more than what we'd usually see. Not unusual for the abnormally cold conditions, but definitely unusual to what we would normally see here in Rochester," said Deputy Chief Vance Swisher, with the Rochester Fire Department.

And while cleanup continues at Shorewood, they're just glad it wasn't worse.

"Nobody was hurt. And special thank you to the Rochester fire department. Those guys were here quickly and they did the bulk of the cleanup so I really want the folks to know in the community, what a great job they did," said Huntoon.

Firefighters say it has a lot to do with the cold and the wind. The air can push into a building even through small cracks and crevices, and cause pipes in unheated areas, to burst. To help, experts say make sure the rest of the building or house is heated a little higher than normal.



Freezing Rain Advisory

IA AREAS AFFECTED: Allamakee; Chickasaw; Clayton; Fayette; Floyd; Howard; Mitchell; Winneshiek
Expires: 11/22/2014 8:00 AM

Freezing Rain Advisory

IA AREAS AFFECTED: Black Hawk; Boone; Bremer; Butler; Cerro Gordo; Dallas; Franklin; Grundy; Hamilton; Hardin; Jasper; Madison; Mahaska; Marion; Marshall; Polk; Poweshiek; Story; Tama; Warren; Worth; Wright
Expires: 11/22/2014 6:00 AM