Up And Down Temperatures Cause Pipes To Burst All Over Tulsa


Tuesday, March 4th 2014, 10:48 pm
By: News On 6


With the up and down temperatures, one of the more vulnerable things is your water lines. The freezing and thawing is a perfect combination for bursting pipes and that's exactly what has been happening.

Since Monday night, the Tulsa Fire Department has responded to more than 25 commercial calls regarding broken water lines. They were all over the city, including the Tulsa Police Academy.

According to Captain Stan May, firefighters dealt with broken water mains, sprinkler heads, sprinkler pipes and mains under buildings starting Monday and into Tuesday.

Tuesday afternoon, the Tulsa Police academy flooded thanks to a broken ceiling pipe. Officers had to come up with some pretty innovative ways to get rid of some of that water.

"A lot of times it comes in as the alarm going off and we don't know what it is. So we send a full assignment cause if we get there and it's on fire, you're a little too late to call in help," May said.

Jonathan Cowerd had to call in his own help as well. The building he oversees in Tulsa flooded thanks to a frozen sprinkler pipe.

"Which was pressurized of course so it's designed to push a lot of water out fast, and it was a pipe that had never had issues or was broken before, and it was just unexpected," Cowerd said.

When the sprinklers fail or water pressure in a building is limited, it's an obvious fire hazard; another thing firefighters need to make sure is taken care of.

We have to go out and make sure that that building is safe and that the owner is providing some kind of fire watch because once the system goes down anyone in building is unprotected," May said.

Crews got Cowerd's building up and running, as far as electricity and sprinklers, quickly, but the cleanup was a different story.

"It gonna be days of dealing with this for sure," Cowerd said.

Firefighters said they think the last 24 hours were especially busy because of the fluctuating temperatures, but also because the buildings sat empty and lacked any sort of body heat that might've helped.