Extreme Cold Bursts Pipes Across Brooklyn

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/ Jimmy Joe

Temperatures hit the single digits over the weekend causing pipes to burst and homes to flood across Brooklyn.

Residents in 12 homes in Gerritsen Beach woke up on Sunday morning to find their homes flooded, the result of a burst water main, News 12 reported.

A neighbor in Gerritsen lamented on Facebook that the flooding was “like Sandy all over again.” Gerritsen Beach was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy and feeling neglected by the City in recovery efforts, they decided to help each other. Five years later, the neighborhood is still rebuilding, and the flooding on a cold Sunday morning took some people back.

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Burst pipes were also a big issue last night for residents in Council Member Justin Brannan’s district –  “A broken sprinkler line into a large apartment building on Shore Road burst and caused much of the neighborhood to experience discolored water for several hours.”

In Brooklyn Heights, BKLYNER has two reports of apartments being flooded just blocks away from each other. A two-family home on Joralemon Street had to evacuate tenants to a hotel after the pipes burst and it was flooded. An apartment for sale on Montague Street also had a pipe burst flooding the property, but is currently empty.

As far as the office of District 48 Councilman Chaim Deutsch is aware, there have not been any issues with broken pipes or flooding in Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Homecrest, Trump Village, Luna Park, Brightwater Towers and Midwood.

Photo: State Farm

Bursting pipes are very common during cold temperatures, but they can be prevented. NYC.gov has some tips to protect your pipes:

  • Repair broken and cracked windows, doors, and walls
  • Install storm windows on basement windows
  • Tightly close doors and windows to the outside
  • Insulate outside walls
  • Eliminate drafts from crawl spaces
  • Turn off the water to outside faucets, remove hoses, and drain the pipes
  • Ask your local plumbing supplier about materials to insulate pipes and meters
  • Take extra care to ensure your meter is insulated if it is installed in an unheated garage
  • Insulate the wall and open cabinets if pipes or meters are in a closed cabinet against an outside wall to allow warmer air to reach them
  • Arrange to have someone turn on a faucet periodically if you are going to be out of town during cold weather.

The City also has tips for what to do when the pipe has frozen:

  • Open a faucet near the frozen point to release vapor from melting ice.
  • Direct a hair dryer or heat lamp at the frozen section, or put a small space heater nearby; and, NEVER thaw a frozen pipe or meter with an open flame. This is not only a fire hazard, but could also cause a steam explosion.

If you are unable to thaw the frozen pipes, consult a licensed plumber. If your meter is damaged by the cold, contact 311. For more information about how to prepare for winter-related dangers, visit the New York City Department of Emergency Management’s Winter Weather page.

We reached out to District 43 Councilman Alan Maisel who represents Bergen Beach, Canarsie, Flatlands, Georgetown, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Sheepshead Bay. He did not respond in time for publishing.

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