Frozen Pipe Floods Downtown Tulsa Condominiums

Wednesday, January 12th 2011, 5:23 pm
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Dozens of people who live downtown are out of their homes because of the cold weather.

A frozen pipe and a frozen heating coil caused a water leak at Central Park Condominiums Tuesday night. The water came rushing through one floor to the next. It woke residents and sent the maintenance staff into overdrive.

Wednesday was a busy day for Kent Morlan. He was up and down and all over Central Park Condominiums.

"Above the 20th floor there's another building," Morlan said.

Morlan is the president of the Central Park board of directors. He's been dealing with contractors and trying to clean up a watery mess.

"The assumption is that it froze up," he said.

Morlan says a heating coil used to provide hot air to the public portions of the building froze overnight. That lead to a frozen pipe, then some water inside the pipe froze and everything backed up before forcing a nearly 20 story waterfall through the building.

"All these buildings, just as your home, are all subject to having these pipes freeze up in this really cold weather and when it happens it's a mess but it's just part of life," Morlan said.

"I started to come across my living room and I heard squish, squish, squish, squish," Joel Mercuri, a resident, said. "It was just all flooded there."

 Joel Mercuri's belongings are now stacked in the middle of his condo and blowers surround his carpet. He lives on the top floor and was one of the first hit by the streaming water.

Dan Bewley, News On 6: What went through your mind when you were feeling that squish?

Joel Mercuri, Resident: You don't want to know, you don't want to know.

No one was injured but dozens of residents just need a place to stay, so Central Park is putting anyone who wants to up in the Doubletree over the next couple of nights.

Morlan says about half of the residents in the 80 units that were damaged will stay at the Doubletree this week. Mercuri is one of them, but he's not worried and says management is taking care of everything.

"Worst comes to worst I'm going to need new carpeting but that's about it," he said.

Morlan says there wasn't any significant damage other than to carpets and he expects the cleanup to last through the end of the week.