Waterworks Fallout from Temperature Extremes in New England

February 8, 2023

The extreme cold has moved on from New England. The waterworks woes haven’t.

Plumbers and firefighters have been dealing with numerous burst pipes and broken sprinkler systems over the last few days after the region experienced a dramatic temperature plunge, followed by a quick surge of warmth.

The damage affected homeowners, commercial buildings, government offices and performance venues alike.

Plumbers were flooded with calls.

“No one’s ready for this,” plumber Steve Labbe in New Hampshire told WMUR-TV. He was working on a building that had three floors of damage, originating with a burst pipe. “It’s not good here.”

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services in Manchester, the state’s largest city, was closed Tuesday because of burst pipes. A similar office in Claremont was expected to remain closed through Friday. The department said it will manage cases from other locations.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services building in Lewiston also was temporarily closed on Monday from water damage.

The Boston Medical Center’s Emergency Department reopened on Monday after a pipe froze and burst Saturday night. Patients had been moved to other areas of the hospital. UVM Medical Center in Vermont also experienced weekend flooding, temporarily closing some rooms.

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