Bursting Pipes Cause Major Problems - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Bursting Pipes Cause Major Problems

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By: Claire Powell


The Des Moines Fire Department responded to 10 sprinkler pipes bursting in the last 24 hours.

The downtown skywalk near the Civic Center, Mercy Hospital, Lincoln High School and apartments around the metro are some of the places that have had to deal with bursting pipes and water damage.

Tuesday morning, Lincoln High School students were briefly evacuated after a pipe burst in a storage closet.

"The immediate damage we see is to our band an orchestra room that's directly below it. So we do have water that's draining down in there that's currently being cleaned up," said Principal Paul Williamson, Lincoln High School.

The students returned to the school shortly after they located the broken pipe and went on with their day.

This was one of the first few for the Des Moines Fire Department, who said these things happen every winter.

"A lot of these systems have been in place for quite a few years and this extreme cold, you just never know what's going to happen," said Captain Steve Brown, Des Moines Fire.

Wherever a pipe is exposed to the cold or is poorly insulated, it's vulnerable to breaking.  

"We had a pipe break on the 3rd floor of an apartment building and it worked its' way down to the first floor. So it's going through walls, ceilings, light fixtures… so it does cause an issue," said Captain Brown.

Exactly like Erik Luther's apartment on Grand Avenue. He received a call from his mom who said he might have a problem.  

"I ran over here, and got here, and there were fire trucks everywhere," said Luther.

Luther and his fiancé's guest bedroom and everything in it was ruined.  

"There was probably at least an inch of water that was standing, but it was dynamic so it was changing.  Wherever you'd step you'd have water go over your shoe, definitely," said Luther.

The two units below them have water damage. Now he and his fiancé will have to live with his parents until they see if the carpet and dry wall can be saved.

"Unfortunately , this was good stuff that my fiance were planning on using when we graduate from medical school and have our own family and everything," said Luther.


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