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Originally published: 2014-01-09 19:02:40
Last modified: 2014-01-09 19:29:20

Frozen pipes cause trouble

by Allison Haver

Even as the snow started melting away and road conditions began improving this week, emergency responders had a lot of work ahead of them.

According to Boone Fire Department Capt., Mike Teague, beginning midday on Monday through Thursday morning, Boone Fire Department responded to 66 calls. A vast majority of these calls were related to frozen pipes and water damage.

Many businesses in town suffered from burst water and sprinkler lines, which activated their fire alarms. Harris Teeter, Chili's and Pasta Wench were among several businesses that had to call for assistance.

Andrea Morrell, owner of Pasta Wench, said, "I don't know if I will be able to reopen my business." Morrell's company lost its entire inventory when cast iron pipes on the emergency sprinkler system burst during the night.

"It's kind of a shocker; you don't expect this to happen to your business. I'm just grateful no one was hurt," said Morrell.

It was not just business owners dealing with the headache of water damage. Royce McCarty, owner of RWM Construction, said a lot of calls on water damage due to frozen pipes were people in apartments and condos.

"We have had about 20 to 25 calls so far, and they are still coming in," Royce said.

According to Teague, within a 24-hour period ending on Thursday morning, Boone Fire Department had responded to 26 calls. Dealing with that many incidents involving fire alarms, Teague stressed the importance of people paying attention to the alarm and vacating the premises.

"If you are in any building, whether you live there, own it, or are shopping somewhere, please pay attention to the fire alarms," Teague said.

"If you hear it, leave the building. Something is going on," Teague said.

Teague also wanted to stress the importance of leaving heat on to avoid freezing pipes.

"We always try to tell people to leave heat on if they are leaving for the holidays, " Teague said.