Bursting water pipes popping up across Minnesota

January 30, 2019 10:17 PM

The plummeting temperatures are bursting water pipes from Detroit Lakes to the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota.

A downtown Minneapolis building on the 1100 block of Marquette Avenue had the first floor flooded by a water pipe break, forcing more than 200 people to leave their apartments as water cascaded into the lobby of the building.

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Jesse Wheeler lives in the building, and said the flooding was contained to the lobby. No one was evacuated for any significant period of time from their apartments.

"The fire alarms went off and I figured it was something serious," Wheeler said. "And when I came down here to the first floor, there were more than 200 people watching the water pour out of the broken pipe.

"It is a great place to live and they did a great job after the firefighters left of getting us back into our apartments. And everything is back to normal with water, hot water as well."

RELATED: Cold leads White Bear Lake Township water tower to overflow

Tyler Roden is a project manager with Kiser Construction in Elk River. He told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS his business has doubled since temperatures have dipped into the negative double-digit range.

"There is no doubt we are working long hours and answering a lot more calls than usual," Roden said. 

"There really is almost no way to avoid this kind of thing when the temperatures get this bad."

RELATED: When furnaces are working overtime, emergencies can happen

Roden said the best thing homeowners can do is to make sure their water pipes have good insulation, their furnaces are tuned up and they get a little lucky as well.

"You can run water at your tap and open kitchen cupboards below your sinks," Roden said. 

"But really it comes down to adequate heating in your house and making sure your furnace is working properly."

In Detroit Lakes and White Bear Township, the extremely cold temperatures caused malfunctions with water tower equipment, sending water into nearby streets and neighborhoods as well.

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Jay Kolls

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