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Friday, December 31, 2010

Fire Causes $340,000 In Damages In Pixley

A garage fire started by "electrical arcing or short [circuit]" spread to the rest of the structure and destroyed most of a single-family residence early Thursday morning, Tulare County firefighters reported.
The blaze, located in the 1300 block of North Park Street in Pixley, caused an estimated $240,000 to the home's wood-frame structure and $100,000 to contents inside, firefighters reported.
Hampering firefighters was a garage packed with articles and a fire in the 2,800-square-foot home's attic as well. The attic fire caused the home's roof to collapse.
With the roof down, it was difficult to salvage articles from the inside the house, firefighters reported.
Firefighters were first called to the fire at 1:50 a.m. Thursday, firefighters reported. When they arrived, heavy smoke was showing from the home's exterior, and it was determined that the fire was "centered in the garage."

Social Services' Office Damaged By Water

OCEAN TOWNSHIP — The Monmouth County Division of Social Services' satellite office at 2405 Route 66 has been closed until further notice because of water damage in the building.
The Probation Office that operates in the other half of the building will remain open, county officials said Tuesday.
The exact cause of the water damage has not been determined. A rumor that a roof collapsed is unfounded, county officials said.

12/31/10 Lindenhurst Weather Forecast

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 46. West wind around 8 mph.

Tonight: Patchy fog after midnight. Otherwise, mostly clear, with a low around 35. West wind between 5 and 7 mph.

New Year's Day: A slight chance of showers after 3pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 47. Southwest wind between 5 and 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Saturday Night: Rain likely, mainly after 3am. Areas of fog after 9pm. Otherwise, cloudy, with a low around 39. West wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Sunday: A chance of rain before 9am. Patchy fog before 9am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 47. West wind between 7 and 11 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 29.

Monday: Sunny and breezy, with a high near 40.

Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 27.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 40.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 25.

Wednesday: Sunny and breezy, with a high near 36.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 24.

Thursday: Partly sunny and breezy, with a high near 36. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Waters Recede In Washington; Wasn't Easy

ST. GEORGE - Waters that had threatened homes and damaged property throughout western Washington County had eased out by Thursday, and sunlight finally emerged after a week of rain.
Muddied streets and sidewalks marred towns like Enterprise, Brookside and Gunlock. Some roadways had been wiped out completely, bridges were damaged and basements flooded, but no deaths or injuries were reported and residents were using the break in the weather to breathe a sigh of relief and consider what had happened.
"It was unreal," Brookside resident Jacob Werner said Thursday, standing near a wall of sandbags that, for a while, were all that separated his basement and the swollen Santa Clara River. "I couldn't believe how close it was. It was pretty scary getting home."
In Enterprise, Jon Vincent Paxman was resting up before a daunting cleanup job. A foot of water had flooded the basement, the front yard was topped by thick mud and a full account of the damage had yet to be determined.
Paxman said he was glad to be past the harrowing experience of waking up to rushing water entering the house Tuesday morning.
"We were sleeping when it came," he said. "I jumped out of bed at about 6 a.m. to go 'splash.'"
Authorities were just starting to take stock of the damage done Thursday, so they weren't sure how much there was to report.
Enterprise Mayor Lee Bracken said many of the city staff and numerous volunteers who had stacked sandbags, operated heavy equipment, supplied food and made other contributions were sleeping on Thursday, resting up after several days with little sleep.
"When we finally saw the sunshine this morning, I just told everybody to go home and get ready for Christmas," he said.
Bracken and other officials credited an organized and energetic volunteer force with preventing more damage.
In Enterprise, countless volunteers stacked about 15,000 sandbags all over the area, he said, and the support system of equipment, food and other supplies kept the effort going for days.
Steve Haluska, chair of the Northwestern Special Service District, said about 300 volunteers tempered the damage in Brookside, contributing 2,100 man-hours.
The river rose more than 4 feet in places, flooding 10 houses and a mobile home, but no one was hurt, which was the most important thing, he said.
"We didn't' have one person injured or hurt, and that's what really matters," he said.
Officials are wary of another storm expected to pass through the area Sunday, with riverbanks and reservoirs largely full from the week's deluge, but it appeared the worst had passed, said Peter Kuhlmann, Washington County's emergency management director.
Officials are also telling residents to be prepared for this spring, when snow runoff will be coming down into waterways already filled by the week's historic storm.
"We got about a year's worth of rain in one week," said Enterprise resident Dylan Sparks. "That'll put a lot of pressure on things."

Overnight Fire Causes Extensive Damage To Home in Lemay

(KMOV) – An overnight three-alarm fire caused major damage to a home in south St. Louis County. The blaze was reported around 11 p.m. on Wednesday night in the 900 block of Erskine in Lemay.
The family who lived in the home left the house earlier in the evening, and no one was home when the fire started.
The fire chief says the flames were tough to fight because the home is an older one that had been remodeled over the years and there were layers of siding on the home.
No injuries were reported. Officials say the fire was not suspicious.
Fire units from Lemay, Crestwood, Affton, Mehlville and Saint Louis City helped battle the blaze.

Flooding Damages School and Homes in Seville

Flooding in the community of Seville early today damaged an elementary school and at least five homes, according to county officials.

Water seeped into some classrooms at the Stone Corral Elementary School and into the homes.

Fire crews were called out early this morning to provide flood control to Seville along Avenue 384. Sandbags were deployed but failed to prevent the flooding.

Burst Pipe Causes Thousands of Pounds of Water Damage

Thousands of pounds of flood damage has been caused to a Shropshire pensioner’s home after a pipe burst while he was away in hospital being treated for cancer.

The roof of the kitchen and bedroom has caved in, a wall has collapsed and wallpaper has been stripped from the walls after the pipe burst in the attic of 83-year-old John Morgan’s home in Madeley, Telford.

The damage was only discovered when his grandson Jimmy Morgan visited the home to check on the property yesterday.

The 34-year-old windscreen fitter said: “I opened the front door and it sounded like a waterfall was going off somewhere in the house. I looked up and it looked like someone was letting off eight taps from the ceiling.

“A pipe had frozen in the loft and after it burst it continued to leak water throughout the house. My grandad has been in hospital for a while receiving treatment for cancer and it had been a few days since my last visit to the house, the pipe could have been leaking for days.

“The damage is unbelievable to behold. The entire house is ruined, it literally looks like a bomb has gone off in there.

“The kitchen roof and a bedroom roof have caved in, the other rooms haven’t fared much better. One of the walls has collapsed inside the house.

“The whole place will have to be gutted, it will cost thousands of pounds to repair.”

The water supply has been temporally stopped to neighbours’ houses while the leak is fixed.

Christmas Ruined; Woman Waits For Boiler To Be Fixed

A MOTHER says she has had no heating or hot water for almost a month in temperatures as low as -10C because of a broken boiler.
Sheena Russell, 56, says she has had to move out of her Derby home because workmen keep failing to turn up to fix the problem.
She said when someone did finally attend after three missed appointments, she was told new parts needed to be ordered, which would take several days to arrive.
As Christmas Day approaches, the problem has still not be resolved and she is staying at her daughter's home in Alvaston.
Ms Russell said: "At times it's been -10C – if it happened to somebody in their 70s or 80s they would be dead. It's ruining my Christmas."
Under a £650-a-year HomeServe insurance policy, Ms Russell says workmen are meant to arrive at her property, in Chatteris Drive, Chaddesden, "within two hours" of her boiler breaking.
It initially broke on November 17 but she said it took workmen two days before they came. They reset the boiler but the following day it broke again and for a week Ms Russell was having to reset it herself.
On November 27, she began to smell gas leaking from the boiler and so had the supply switched off, leaving her again with no heating or hot water.
She said workmen came out the next day and told her the boiler needed a new part.
Another appointment was scheduled for December 1 but heavy snow meant workmen could not attend.
Two further appointments were missed and workmen did not show up until December 10, after a burst pipe led to Ms Russell's garage flooding.
A further 11 days passed before the next visit, on Tuesday, when workmen told her more parts needed to be ordered and that the problem should be fixed by Christmas Day.
Ms Russell says the level of service she has received has been unacceptable.
She said: "I pay more than £600 for this insurance cover. It states if they can't fix the problem they will put you in a hotel or give you heaters, but I've had none of that.
"I've written e-mails about complaint and heard nothing back.
"I've also been told I'm now a priority and would be called to be updated on the progress being made, but I haven't been called."

Flood Victims Tally Their Losses

SCITUATE - Their ’97 Chrysler Concorde, their family photographs, their Christmas presents – all of their belongings lost in the surge of seawater that swept up Jericho Road and into their first-floor apartment early Monday morning.
But worst of all for Robert Ali and his girlfriend Carmen Tirado: Their home is gone.
And on Day 3 living on cots in the Scituate High School cafeteria, they are almost 3 miles from their jobs in the town center, with no idea where they’ll go next and beginning to feel desperate.
“I had a nice, neat, pretty home,” said Ali, 50. “But it’s gone, just ruined.”
At 3:30 a.m. Monday, Ali waded waist-deep into ice-cold water and climbed into a front-end loader commandeered by the fire department. Tirado, who is 4 feet, 11 inches tall, was hoisted onto the shoulders of a firefighter.
They’re grateful to the rescuers, but now they are worried about their future and waiting to meet with counselors who can guide them to resources for help.
“I want to act like it was a nightmare, and I’ll wake up, but it’s not,” said Tirado, 50. “I want to settle down and go back to my job.”
She works at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Front Street, and Ali works at the Village Market.
“I don’t want to spend New Year’s Eve here,” she said, her voice cracking and her eyes welling up.
Ali and Tirado are among a half dozen people who spent two nights at the shelter, set up by Scituate firefighters and now run by the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts.
And they are among nearly 100 people who fled their homes as a fast-moving tidal surge crested over beaches and the sea wall from the lighthouse and up to Egypt Beach.
Scituate was one of the hardest-hit towns on the coast. Floodwaters gushed into electrical outlets and sparked two house fires on 7th Avenue. The waves toppled massive concrete slabs of the sea wall near Turner Road.
Wednesday, U.S. Rep.-elect William Keating toured the damaged neighborhoods, and this afternoon at 3, U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is expected to visit the area.
The question is whether these legislators can obtain money to help towns and residents repair the damage.
Along Oceanside Drive and in the Sand Hills neighborhood Wednesday, backhoes and front-end loaders scraped at rocks strewn about roadsides.
The air smelled of diesel exhaust as Carl Bellu used a much smaller tool – a hand shovel – to scoop up rocks and clear drains near his brick house, which is now uninhabitable.
His driveway and yard still under water, Bellu said he lost everything on the first floor – all his appliances and furniture.
“The window blew out on the first floor, and water just poured in,” he said, as he stood outside in his Patriots jacket, his brown leather boots soaked.
Behind Bellu the charred remains of the two houses that burned down stuck out of the water.
Neighbors have begun collecting clothing and have opened a bank account at Hingham Federal Credit Union for cash donations to assist Paul Trayers and Maureen Kelly, who escaped one of the houses with their two daughters.
The storm didn’t hit Hull quite as hard, but the scene on Atlantic Avenue in Hull on Wednesday almost mirrored Scituate.
In Tim Feeney’s front yard, his white Subaru wagon and silver Saab sedan sat sunk in the sand, casualties of the storm. Feeney spent the day clearing debris – pieces of his neighbors’ fencing and decks – that had washed up on his property.
A boarding house on Park Avenue was also flooded, sending at least two of its residents to the shelter in Scituate.
The basement apartment that Christina Kiriakos, 58, rented was no bulwark to the floodwater.
“That was some cold water. It made you catch your breath,” Kiriakos said, sitting at a cafeteria table in Scituate. “There’s nothing worse than to lose everything you own in minutes.”

Fire Damage To Exceed $250,000 At Golf Club

HOBE SOUND — Monday's wildfire could cost more than $250,000 in damage at the Hobe Sound Golf Club, its superintendent said Wednesday.
"It's about 20,000 square feet of turf that was singed," superintendent Roy McDonald said. "It affected four holes, some palmetto trees and some of our irrigation control equipment."
The fire didn't reach the clubhouse, but the smoke did, McDonald said. Course management will have to wait and see how deeply the smoke permeated the carpets and drapes at the pro shop, he said.
"We need the air to clear up," McDonald said.
About 160 golfers are members at the private club on Southeast Plandome Drive off Bridge Road. The course was open Wednesday, but likely many golfers stayed away, as the smell of charred acreage lingered, McDonald said.
"The smoke was still thick." he said. "I'm sure it kept away our older golfers with breathing issues. I tossed a jacket in the wash the other night, but it still smells like smoke."
The four charred holes on the golf course property abut the brush area that was charred by the wildfire.
"That northern wind from the cold front pushed the fire and made it hop the fence Monday," McDonald said. "I'm just glad no one got hurt."

Cost Of Water Damage To SUNY Still Unknown

NEW PALTZ — SUNY New Paltz officials don't yet know how big a bill they're facing for cleanup and repairs of storm-related damage at the college's Jacobson Faculty Tower.

The 10-story, 120-foot-high building housing offices for faculty and support staff suffered water damage on a number of floors on the north and west sides following the blizzard that hit the area Sunday.

Jacqueline DiStefano, the college's vice president for finance and administration, said the main culprit was a power outage that affected a third of the campus.

The power failure caused water-filled coils in the building's heating and cooling system to freeze up and then burst, sending water spilling into a number of offices.

DiStefano confirmed that "one or two" windows were blown open, letting snow get into some offices. But she said that was not a "primary contributing factor" to the overall damage.

The damage was discovered Monday, and for the next two days cleaning up the water, replacing damaged or displaced ceiling and floor tiles and other work was "a primary focus" of campus maintenance crews and other staff, DiStefano said. A contractor also was hired to help with the cleanup.

All the work was essentially finished and the large dryers and dehumidifiers brought in to help the drying process had been removed by noon Wednesday, DiStefano said.

While a dollar figure for the damage wasn't known as of Wednesday, DiStefano said, "The state is self-insured, so we will have to use campus resources to pay for all of this."

The building also houses seminar rooms and Jazzman's Cafe.

Homes Without Water And Basements Flooded After Water Main Bursts

A water main on Upper Mountain Avenue blew out early yesterday morning, damaging some homes and leaving dozens of residents without heat or water for hours, according to municipal officials.

The burst pipe send at least a half-million gallons of water onto North Mountain Avenue and surrounding streets, and into residents' basements, according to Municipal Utilities Director Gary Obszarny.

Asked about the cause of the break — which occurred at 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 29 — Obszarny said he could only speculate, though he added that the damage occurred in a high-pressure area of Montclair.

Water pressure in Montclair ranges from 50 to 160 pounds-per-inch, he said. The break occurred in an area that experiences pressure of 140 pounds-per-inch.

"So obviously the water mains underneath are a little more stressed," Obszarny said.

He added: "With 150 miles of pipe [townwide], this happens."

After the break, traffic was detoured on North and Upper Mountain avenues between Watchung Avenue and Berkeley Place, but resumed by 1 p.m. Obszarny said water was restored to residents at 1:10 p.m.

After restoring water service, Obszarny said municipal workers would start cutting out the piece of burst pipe and installing a new section.

He anticipated it being "a busy day," he said.

Old City Hall Plans To Repair Water Damage

Old City Hall owner George Webb told the Tacoma City Council that the first phase of repair work on the water-damaged historic landmark will take more than a month.
“I’m told it will be approximately 45 days to have all the materials, drywall, carpet, et cetera, out of the building,” he said at the council’s study session, held Tuesday at another historic downtown building, the Pantages Theater.
“I don’t have a lot to say about the long term,” Webb said. The water damage repair work “does give us an opportunity to reposition the property moving forward.”
Webb’s update to the City Council was the first time he’s appeared before the body since the Nov. 24 flood at Old City Hall on Commerce Street. The day before Thanksgiving, a sprinkler pipe thawed after the week’s cold weather and sent 30,000 gallons of water through the building that has been mostly empty since 2005.
The building is facing a foreclosure auction on Jan. 7, and Webb said negotiations with mortgage holder Union Bank continue.
Councilman Jake Fey asked Webb if he planned to remain the owner.
“That is our intention, in the short term at least,” Webb said. “We want to see the next phase of the building.”
Mayor Marilyn Strickland introduced Webb and said “the spirit of this is not a public flogging.”
She asked him if the building was in danger of being demolished, a question that invoked memories of the Luzon, a historic building razed last year after decades of neglect.
“That would be a huge mistake from my point of view. The building is very strong structurally. There’s no reason for people to have that fear. I don’t know how that got started,” he said.
“It’s Tacoma,” Strickland replied.
City historic preservation officer Reuben McKnight said in an interview that he has toured the building and didn’t see fundamental structural damage, though there are maintenance issues that include a leaky roof.
Webb said fixing water damage at Old City Hall required a different approach than what was done at the United Way building on Pacific Avenue, which also suffered damage from a broken water pipe over the Thanksgiving holiday. The United Way building was remodeled in the 1990s and hazardous material was removed. Old City Hall still has asbestos and lead paint.
“It wasn’t in anyone’s interest to go in there and rip things out immediately after the traumatic event,” Webb said.
Councilman Spiro Manthou thanked Webb for repairing the building.
“A lot of people would like (the council) to step in, but that’s not our responsibility,” he said, adding “I’d rather fix potholes” than spend money fixing a private building. “I appreciate you not forcing us to go in that direction.”
Councilman David Boe, who met with Webb earlier Tuesday, said the issues at Old City Hall went beyond private property ownership.
“I might fill a few less potholes if we could make sure that Old City Hall is back on all cylinders,” he said. “That’s an issue that’s a civic one. It’s a private building, but it has civic importance. We need to think of all different avenues to try to bring this back.”
“Oddly enough, the pipe bursting may be the best thing that happened to Old City Hall, because now we’re paying attention,” Strickland said.

Faulty Sprinkler Floods Basement In Cambridge

Part of Queen Anne Terrace Car Park in Cambridge has been closed since before Christmas after a faulty sprinkler left the basement floor flooded.
The freezing weather conditions before Christmas caused the car park’s sprinkler systems to freeze and sprinkler heads to “pop off” leaving them damaged, and the basement level closed from that point onwards.
Engineers have been called out to the system, but Cambridge City Council’s head of parking services, Paul Necus, says it is unlikely they will be fixed until Tuesday next week (January 4).
Mr Necus said: “The basement level at Queen Anne Terrace is closed for safety reasons following the breakdown of the sprinkler system in that area.
“The water in the sprinkler system froze on December 23, and popped the heads off some of the sprinklers, causing the flooding. So we’ve had to turn the water supply off until the system thawed out.
“We’re waiting to replace the damaged sprinkler heads and for engineers to get the system up and running again so we can reopen the basement as soon as possible.”

Restaurant Fire Closes Non-Profit Homeless Agency

An early Thursday fire in a South Loop restaurant that police say is suspicious has forced a non-profit homeless agency to shutter its doors until next week.

The fire was reported about 4:45 a.m. on the 1300 block of South Wabash Avenue, Fire Media Affairs spokesman Quention Curtis.

The fire began on the first floor of the three-story brick building on the east side of Wabash, which sustained “significant damage,’’ Curtis said. It was under control by 5:30 a.m. and no one was hurt, he said.

Anne Bowhay, Dir. of Foundation Relations for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless said the agency’s second floor office will be closed until Tuesday due to smoke damage.

She said the Ole Hardwood restaurant on the first floor was “burned out” but the coalition’s office was protected by a firewall that protected it, as well as other offices in the building.

It’s the second time within weeks the fire department has been sent to the building. The restaurant recently had a gas leak that forced the building’s evacuation, Bowhay said.

Although some tenants live in the back of the building, it mostly houses small non-profit agencies. Bowhay said. Her office runs legal aid, community organization and shelter projects and does not house homeless people.

A police Bomb & Arson Section sergeant said the blaze appeared to be suspicious, although it was not immediately clear if accelerant was found.

The sergeant said no one was displaced by the fire, and a warming bus that was initially called was canceled.

Central District police Lt. Robert Lajewski said the interior of the building sustained “a lot of of damage.’’ 

At 6:30 a.m. Wabash Avenue was reopened in both directions between Roosevelt and 14th Street, Lajewski said.

The Office of Fire Investigation was on the scene Thursday morning.

Faculty Tower At New Paltz Flooded

NEW PALTZ — A dollar figure has not yet been put on the amount of damage done by water that flooded parts of the Jacobson Faculty Tower at SUNY New Paltz earlier this week.
Kirsten Hali Wilson, marketing content specialist for the college, said on Thursday that the damage occurred after a power outage that affected about a third of the campus during the snowstorm earlier this week. The outage caused the water-filled coils in the tower’s heating and cooling system to freeze and burst, she said. The result was water spilling into a number of offices in the 10-story building.
Also, some windows in the faculty tower were blown open, allowing snow into the building, Wilson said.
“Most of the damage was actually caused by the heating system breaking,” Wilson said.
She said there was damage to some computers, as well as some floor and ceiling tiles.
The damage was cleaned up with the help of driers and dehumidifiers, and the system was repaired by noon Wednesday, Wilson added. She said the cleanup was accomplished by campus staff, as well as an outside contractor.
Wilson also said that while Monday was a work day at SUNY New Paltz, many college employees were on vacation so there were few people on campus when the damage occurred.
The Jacobson Faculty Tower is about 120 feet high. It houses faculty offices, as well as seminar rooms and the college’s Jazzman’s Cafe.

12/30/10 Lindenhurst Weather Forecast

This Afternoon: Sunny, with a high near 37. West wind around 9 mph.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 27. West wind between 5 and 7 mph.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 44. West wind between 5 and 9 mph.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 34. West wind around 6 mph.

New Year's Day: A slight chance of showers after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 46. Southwest wind between 6 and 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Saturday Night: A chance of rain. Cloudy, with a low around 36. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Sunday: A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 45. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Sunday Night: A chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 39.

Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 26.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 39.

Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny and breezy, with a high near 40. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Burst Pipes Cause Significant Damage To International Venue

The phrase ‘the floodgates have opened up at Windsor Park’ has never been more appropriate.
Linfield have revealed that the Big Two festive clash with Glentoran couldn’t have kicked off even if the pitch was playable.
That’s because burst pipes have caused significant damage at the international venue.
Both dressing rooms were flooded, ceilings collapsed, tiles were damaged and the toilets were also flooded.
The North Stand has also suffered leakages and a major clean up and repair job has swung into action.
It’s going to take a few days to clean up the mess but next Tuesday’s Linfield v Crusaders clash should get the green light.
Linfield secretary Ken Greer insisted there was no chance yesterday’s game could have gone ahead even if the pitch was playable.
“The chairman, Jim Kerr, had a look at the pitch and both goalmouths were rock solid so it was not playable,” said Greer. “But, ironically, burst pipes caused a lot of flooding and the dressing rooms were unusable.
“Part of the ceiling came down in the home dressing room and both were flooded. The water was stopped but then it started again and it’s going to take some time to repair the damage.
“Linfield are away to Donegal Celtic on Friday but our next home game is against Crusaders on Tuesday. The North Stand also sustained some damage and that will need to be checked out before away supporters can use it.”
Glentoran were critical of the decision to postpone the Big Two showdown last Thursday — four days before the scheduled kick-off time. However, Greer feels the frost was so severe there was no other option.
“These are frustrating times for the supporters but it was too big a risk to proceed with plans to play the game,” added Greer. “You have fans and stewards to consider and with such a big crowd expected to attend it was right to make an early decision.
“The club has insurance to cover the cost of the flood damage but we are now left with a lot of mopping up to do.
“We are dealing with unprecedented weather conditions and I have never seen anything on this scale before.
“But the goalmouths were so frozen solid that the pitch would not have been ok anyway.”

Broken Water Line Inconveniences Local Businesses

A broken water main on the 2400 block of Montana Avenue on Thursday afternoon inconvenienced some businesses but caused little damage.

“The city of Billings did a fantastic job,” said Mike Schaer, owner of Computers Unlimited, 2407 Montana Ave.

Computers Unlimited had a little water in one of its basements, but storage items were on pallets and there was not much damage, Schaer said.

City crews responded within a half hour of the pipe breaking, Schaer said. The crews got the water shut off and got the pipe fixed, he said.

“They must have had 10 people out there, all of them working. This morning when I came to work, they're gone.”

Big Sky Restoration also responded promptly and pumped out about an inch of water, Schaer said. Blowers were drying damp sheet rock on Friday. By Friday, it was business as usual, he said.

City crews from the Public Works Department worked into the night repairing the line, which ruptured shortly after noon. Crews dug into the street with a backhoe while another crew thawed icy storm drains to keep flooding under control.

The cause of the break wasn't known.

The Rex, at 2401 Montana Ave., was able to serve meals Thursday night after the city ran water to the business from a fire hydrant behind the building.

About the only difference was less water pressure, said David Maplethorpe, the Rex's executive chef on Friday.

The restaurant had a little water in the basement but no damage, Maplethorpe said. “We are back to normal,” he said.

Maplethorpe said a manager told him the line was fixed by about 1:30 a.m.

While the Rex stayed open, Cafe Italia, an Italian restaurant at 2417 Montana Ave., had to close for the night.

Larry Guess, who manages both Cafe Italia and the McCormick Cafe next door, said Friday neither business had any damage or flooding. The restaurants share a kitchen.

Cafe Italia had some holiday parties scheduled for Thursday night and Thursday night is one of the restaurant's better nights, Guess said.

“Fortunately it didn't happen on a Friday or Saturday,” he said. “We're good to go now.”

Guess didn't know if hooking up to a fire hydrant would have been possible for his business.

The Rainbow Bar, 2403 Montana Ave., also closed early, at 9:30 p.m., for lack of water but had no damage, said Linda Jacobson, owner.

The Rainbow had a little water in the basement, but Jacobson took it in stride. “it's a good excuse to do cleaning,” she said. “I can't complain.”

Broken Water Main Soaks Roxbury Street

A water main break in Roxbury sent water gushing down Hampden Street, forcing its closure for more than 17 hours until it was reopened late yesterday afternoon.
The episode is one of several water main breaks in the region this year that have raised frustrations from Gloucester to Norwood and resulted in soaked basements, flooded streets, and cut-off access to heat and drinking water.
Despite the recent incidents, Boston officials say water main breaks have actually declined to 37 this year compared with 47 last year, according to Tom Bagley, spokesman for the Boston Water and Sewer Commission.
He added that the water commission has an aggressive leak detection program that looks for possible breaches in pipes. In addition, the commission features a massive capital improvement program that is replacing aging, undersized, and deteriorating pipes.
But, he added, it is difficult to prevent water main breaks in Boston’s aging system, whose pipes at places are more than a century old.
Bagley said water main breaks occur for various reasons, including the pipes’ age, accidental puncture by construction work close to the pipes, and a lingering freeze that can constrict soil and cause pipes to burst.
“It seems that we’ve been getting more leaks during the cold,’’ said Bagley. “We’ve been having a lot of cold weather for the last few weeks. The temperatures have been below 30 degrees. It’s a possibility that the weather may have played a factor.’’
Investigators have not yet determined what caused the rupture of a 12-inch water main at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Hampden and Norfolk streets in Roxbury, near Melnea Cass Boulevard.
The pipe is about 100 years old, and there were no contractors working in the area at the time of the leak, which Bagley said caused no damage to businesses or homes on the street.
Crews worked through the night to repair the leak, and service was restored around 5 a.m. yesterday.
Rich Santos, who works at Max Ultimate Catering nearby, said he was cleaning in the basement of the Hampden Street catering business Thursday evening when one of the cooks notified him of water filling the streets.
“When I saw it, the water was coming out of the pipes,’’ he recalled. “There was about 3 feet of water, and it flooded the whole street.’’
Speaking with the Globe, Bagley highlighted a figure from the educational group, American Water Works Association, that the national average of main breaks per year is 250 per 1,000 miles of water main.
“We have 1,035 miles of water main in the city,’’ said Bagley. “We’re averaging 35 to 50 water main breaks per year. That’s a pretty good record.’’
Bagley said the commission replaces 17 miles of water, storm, and sewer pipes every year as part of its capital improvement program. The agency is planning replacement work of the Hampden Street pipe system in two years, he said.
Across the region, residents have been reeling from a string of water main breaks that have caused a host of woes.
Gloucester was hit with three massive leaks since last month, including one this week that cut off the water supply to about 70 percent of the city, forcing schools to close and residents to boil water.
Part of Lynn was left without power and water in November for 13 hours after a water main break opened a 10-by-20-foot sinkhole near 435 Lynnway. Authorities said the road required extensive repairs, including repaving the damaged sections that collapsed into the ground.
Norwood businesses operated without water after a leak in November shut down one lane on Route 1 and forced part of the road to collapse.
In early December, a water main break curbed water service on Newbury Street after a 12-inch main broke at the corner of Clarendon Street in Boston. Service was later restored.
In Chelsea, 200 people lost water service when a 16-inch pipe broke last week. Public Works officials said the 100-year-old pipe probably gave way because of age and not the cold.

Mobile Home Sustains Heavy Damage From A Fire; Cause Unknown

SPENCER, Iowa. (KTIV)--A mobile home in Spencer, Iowa was also heavily damaged by a fire this morning.
Crews found a lot of smoke when they responded to 317 West 18th Street, Lot O, a mobile home owned by Bill Caskey and rented by James Switter.
Authorities say the trailer received heavy fire damage to the water heater compartment, bathroom and bedroom wall and the rest of it has smoke damage.
No word yet on a cause.

Water Main Break Floods Basements In Pennsylvania

A water main break flooded basements in some Pleasant Hills homes this morning.
Police said the break was reported about 4:20 a.m. on Sunrise Drive. The fire department was pumping water out of basements, and the water company was on scene to repair the damage, Lt. Richard Kelly said.
"We're trying to get everything back to normal," Kelly said. "It was just a lot of water damage in the houses and a big hole in the yard where the dirt washed out."
The break on the 8-inch line should be repaired by 1:30 p.m., Pennsylvania American Water spokeswoman Josephine Posti said.
She said a crew is assessing the damage to at least two homes.

Burst Pipes Trouble Port Glasgow Residents

DESPERATE Port Glasgow residents are at their wits’ end after a plumber, police and the fire service all tried in vain to stop water gushing from a burst pipe in their building.
Lin Forbes, 33, pictured, who lives in a first-floor flat in Highholm Street, had to call out emergency services because she couldn’t get through to Scottish Water after a thaw sparked the deluge on Christmas Day.
The police and fire service also tried to make contact with the utility firm, but had no success because they didn’t have an emergency phone number to call.
Lin said: “It’s been absolutely horrendous — it’s a real safety risk

Burst Pipe Causes Confusion; Floods Shopping Centre

MARKS and Spencer at the Eden shopping centre had to be evacuated because of flooding this afternoon.
Fire crews from High Wycombe were called just after 12.30pm to the store, where it was first thought a fire had broken out.
An alarm was triggered, but it turned out to be a burst pipe.
High Wycombe Watch Manager Andy Ward said: “Somewhere in the services up in the loft above the staff canteen area, a pipe burst, quite a large pipe I would say because there was quite a lot of water which came through the ceiling and initially set the fire alarm off.
“They thought they had a fire because they thought a sprinkler had gone off.
“So when we investigated it they evacuated the store but when we investigated we found it was a burst pipe.
“There was some damage, really it was just an enormous amount of water on the floor.
“It was confined to staff only areas.”
Firefighters isolated the electricity supply.
A statement from Marks and Spencer read:
"We can confirm that a burst water pipe in the backstage area of our Eden High Wycombe store earlier today caused a nearby electrical unit to short circuit, emitting a small amount of smoke that triggered the store’s fire alarm.
"The emergency services were called and were quickly in attendance.
"As a precaution, all of our customers and staff were immediately evacuated from the store - no one was hurt.
"Engineers have been at the store this afternoon to fix the pipe and electrical unit, and the store is due to reopen at 6pm this evening.
"We apologise to our local customers for any inconvenience caused."

Mall Businesses Flood After Sprinkler Puts Out Fire

Business owners continued to clean up a wet mess Friday afternoon after water from their sprinklers put out a fire.
Firefighters got a call around 9:30 a.m. Friday of flooding at the Galleria Mexico Men's Clothing Store at the Fulton Mall near Tulare St.
When crews arrived, they found a fire had been extinguished by the fire sprinkler system on the second floor of the business.
Firefighters believe the fire started after a light was left on which then ignited nearby materials.
The fire sprinklers came on, and water drained down to the first floor and into the basement. Water also flooded nearby businesses including a small market.
Firefighters say damage is estimated at $75,000.

Howard Home Damaged By Fire; Cause Under Investigation

HOWARD - Crews battled a house fire in Howard Tuesday morning. It started just before 4:00 a.m. on Moon Drive.
Officials say the damage is primarily to the outside of the home but smoke and water damage inside will need to be repaired before the family can return.
The fire chief says the fire started around a hot tub, but the cause is still under investigation.
No one was hurt.

Water Leakage on Christmas Eve Damages Courthouse Offices

Water seeping through nails in the catch basins on the Cass County Courthouse roof is suspected of causing floor, ceiling and wall damage in the historic building.
Cass County Sheriff Bill Brueggemann explained the damage in an initial report to the county commissioners sent on Christmas Eve.
“On Friday, Dec. 24, we discovered seven roof drains leaking on the Cass County Courthouse,” Brueggemann writes.
Leaks were found on the third floor in the offices of the deputy county attorney, county attorney, county attorney office manager, district court judge chambers, district court library, district court clerk and jury room.
On second floor, damage was found in the county clerk’s office and clerk’s administrator’s office.
Water damage was also discovered in the probation office on first floor.
“Electronic equipment, furniture, wood flooring, carpet, phones, ceiling tile and paper records were damaged from these water leaks,” Brueggemann writes.
These items are not a complete list. A more detailed list of the damage is forthcoming.

Family Forced From Home By Burst Pipe

A north-east family forced out of their home over Christmas because of a burst pipe might not be able to return for months.
Wendy and Ross Watson, and their 10-year-old son Fergus, had to move out of their house after it was flooded.
Mrs Watson, 43, returned home in Sauchen after work on Thursday to find a burst pipe had left the living-room ceiling bulging and water pouring from the light-fittings. Also, the bedroom and bathroom ceilings had collapsed after the cold water feed for her electric shower burst after becoming frozen during the cold snap.
She said: “Because of this time of year, everyone is on holiday and it’s very difficult to get hold of builders and the insurance people.
“The plumbing isn’t really an issue at all and was fixed within 10 minutes. It’s the damage caused by the burst pipe which will take so much time to fix. Although we will be out of the house for what looks like months, I count myself lucky.
“It’s only water and once the ceilings and floors have been fixed we will be able to move back with very little damage to anything else. Luckily, Christmas wasn’t completely ruined as I was able to save the presents.”
The family are currently living with Mrs Watson’s mother in Westhill, but are hoping to be able to rent somewhere temporarily once they have spoken to their insurers.
A family from Carnie Gardens, Westhill, had their home destroyed last week as water from a burst pipe entered the fuse-box, setting their house on fire.