Pipes bursting all over county

LYNNWOOD — The cold snap might be over, but its bite continued to cause plenty of misery Tuesday.

Broken pipes have hit houses, apartments, businesses, a school, a police station and even a college dormitory.

Snohomish County Fire District 1, which covers most of south county, received 63 reports of broken pipes since Saturday. Four of those calls came Tuesday when temperatures warmed up after five days below freezing.

In Lynnwood on Tuesday, a pipe burst on the fourth floor of the Rainier Place student residence hall at Edmonds Community College.

The break, which occurred about 12:45 p.m., affected seven units and up to 28 students, college spokeswoman Marisa Pierce said.

Those students were moved to two classrooms to stay warm while crews assessed the damage Tuesday evening. Some were expected to be able to return to their rooms. The college was making arrangements for others to stay at a hotel.

“We don’t know who can come back into the building tonight,” Pierce said Tuesday.

The timing wasn’t good: It came during finals week.

Rainier Place, which has about 180 beds, was emptied of students while firefighters examined the building.

Lynnwood Fire Department Lt. DeVon Ogurkow said the water damaged all four floors.

“Water was coming out of electrical panels,” he said.

Oak Heights Elementary School in Lynnwood was closed Monday after pipes burst on the 60-year-old campus. Classes resumed Tuesday, with some students reassigned to other places on campus.

“When it was discovered, we already had six classrooms with water damage,” Edmonds School District spokeswoman DJ Jakala said.

Five of the affected classrooms typically are used for daily lessons.

It could take more than a month to repair all the damage. Students will be out of school for two weeks of winter break during that time.

Maintenance crews checked Oak Heights on Sunday, and there were no signs of the break. The cleanup brought workers from several schools to the Lynnwood campus.

“We had custodians dispatched from throughout the district to Oak Heights,” Jakala said.

The Mukilteo Police Department lobby will remain closed again Wednesday. An indoor sprinkler pipe burst Sunday above the records department, city officials reported.

Several hundred gallons of water flowed through the ceiling, down walls and onto work spaces below. The result was significant damage to furniture, flooring, computers, electrical items and walls.

There was minimal damage to the main case records, which were in another part of the same office and on elevated shelves. Water flowing through the lobby also damaged the floor.

“We continue to work through inventorying damaged materials and equipment and have had our insurance adjustor inspect the facility,” Police Chief Rex Caldwell said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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