Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 8, 2014

Stopped Cold

Frozen pipes create drain on businesses, homeowners

Somerset —

At 5:30 a.m. Tuesday — the beginning of her work day — Cindy Roberts opened the door to the Odgen St. Subway and was instantly deluged as icy water three inches deep cascaded from the restaurant.
Pipes in Subway’s ceiling had frozen and burst, soaking suspended acoustic tiles which collapsed onto the dining area below, and raining thousands of gallons of water into the restaurant.
“I wonder what the water bill will be this month?” opined Bob McAlpin, who with Doug Hall owns the complex at the corner of U.S. 27 and Ogden Street.
Subway’s frozen-burst-pipe woes were not unique.
As temperatures began to warm yesterday following Monday and Tuesday’s arctic blast that plummeted the thermometer into single digits, many Pulaski County residents and business owners discovered that the bitterly cold temperatures did more damage than what they first thought. 
“It has been nonstop,” said Aislynn Frei, with Frei Plumbing, located at 239 S. Richardson Drive in Somerset. “Guys are working around the clock.”
Many thought Wednesday’s mid-30s high was a sign that they were out of the woods, but that’s not the case. As temperatures rose, those who thought they were dealing with a cases of frozen pipes realized they were facing a much messier situations.
“We’ve been real busy,” said Greg Epperson, owner of Epperson Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing, which is located at 208 Ringgold Road in Somerset. “Actually, the calls kicked up today. When the pipes start thawing on their own people realize the pipes are busted.”
When pipes started thawing and water resumed flowing, many discovered that their pipes had ruptured during the deep freeze, but that ice frozen in the burst pipes had blocked the flow of water. As the ice plugs thawed, the floods began.
The Shopville Public Library is a testament to what happened to many in the county.

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