Water damage aplenty from February cold snap


  • <p>SOURCE: GOOGLE MAPS</p><p>Bridgewater volunteer firefighters were sent twice in the same day to the same west side apartment building where pipes burst.</p>

BRIDGEWATER - Emergency crews in Lunenburg and Queens counties dealt with multiple cases of water flooding in buildings, likely triggered by the aftermath of extremely cold conditions.

Two of those calls originated from the same Southridge Court address on Bridgewater's west side, where pipes burst just after 10 a.m. and again just before 6 p.m. on Feb. 5.

Bridgewater's fire chief, Michael Nauss, indicated the apartment complex at 6 Southridge Court has a pressurized water system for fire protection.

"There's water in the pipes all the time, so if there's a spot where the wind and extreme cold can get in, it will freeze up and then when it starts to thaw out, you'll have trouble," Nauss said in an interview.

Water expands when it freezes and pipes with frozen H2O in them can fail if they can't handle the stress.

The first time responders went to The Hemlock, off Jubilee Road, the problem was on the fourth floor in a corner apartment. There were "some minor affects because (water) followed the pipes going down the walls to the basement," the chief said.

The second call involved large volumes of water gushing into the front lobby. On-scene radio communications indicated some residents evacuated. "It was coming down pretty good," Nauss said of the water flow.

He said no one was immediately forced out of their apartments as a result of the incidents. No one from the Bedford-based Hemlock Living responded to a request for comment for this story.

More examples of water-related problems came out of Liverpool, with the commercial building at the corner of Henry Hensey Drive and Water Street experiencing issues that impacted businesses there. Volunteer firefighters were summoned just before 5 a.m. on Feb. 5 when someone noticed water pouring out of the pipes inside.

Liverpool first responders were sent to the business address across the road the next morning, just before 6 a.m. on Feb. 6, for a pipe issue in the ceiling of that building, which caused water to flow out into the street.

There were no reports of any injuries in any of the incidents.

Volunteer fire departments in Lunenburg and Hebbville were also summoned to similar calls around the same time period.

Environment Canada weather data, available online, showed during the early morning hours of Feb. 4, the temperature in Bridgewater dipped to -23 C with a windchill of -36 C. By 9 a.m. on Feb. 5, the readings were -8 C and, factoring in wind, -12 C. The trend was similar in Liverpool, except the Feb. 5 temperature was five degrees warmer. The windchill was around -9 C.

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