Burst Pipe Damages Fargo Businesses and Causes Watery Clean Up - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Burst Pipe Damages Fargo Businesses and Causes Watery Clean Up

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While closing up The Now and Then Shoppe last night, the owner didn't know he was closing up part of his store for the next month.

A pipe burst Jan. 9 in the building shared by The Now and Then Shoppe and a few other businesses has left occupants with a watery mess to clean up.

"My landlord called me then, I suppose about a half hour [later] and he said, 'The building is being flooded.' He said a water pipe has broken," says Now and Then Shoppe Owner Hubert Allery.

Which isn't good news for the thousands of antiques and collectibles that call the store home.

"I would say about one-third of it got flooded. In some places it was up to four inches deep," says Allery.

So all collectibles in those areas will be packed up while the area dries and carpet is replaced. The building owner says he saw ice between two water sprinkler pipes and called an expert to drain the system so it could be repaired. When the wrong side of the building was shut off, the ice started to melt and the water started flowing.

"Water was literally just gushing out the doors on the west side of the building," says Allery.

Servpro has spent hours there cleaning up the mess. They say that cold weather leading to cracked pipes is business as usual this time of year.

"We have a lot of frozen pipes, whether that's a pipe in a home, a sprinkler system here. When it starts to warm up, things thaw and the water starts to run. Once it freezes up, it cracks the pipe," says Servpro's Chadd Piper.

The Fargo Fire Department says there are two basic sprinkler systems: dry and wet. Dry systems have air under pressure that holds the water back. They are designed for places that aren't heated. Wet systems have water in the pipes and have to be in a place that has sufficient heat to keep the pipes from freezing.

Assistant Fire Chief Larry Schuh says that trying to save money by turning the heat down might not be a good idea.

"When it gets too cold and freezes the pipes, you didn't save any money in the long run because you're going to get some water damage," says Schuh.

He says for those with dry systems, make sure your air compressors are operating properly.

Keeping wet systems warm will keep them from freezing and help prevent losses like this.

"Some of it got water damaged so bad that we're just going to get rid of it,"says Allery speaking of damaged antiques.

Allery says part of the store will be closed for about a month while the area airs out, but the other areas are still open for business.

Meanwhile, he has a lot of packing to do and would be happy to take help from volunteers.




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