Central Ohio businesses, homes deal with ruptured pipes following deep freeze

Central Ohio businesses, homes deal with ruptured pipes following deep freeze

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A growing number of homes, businesses, and buildings are all dealing with serious water and pipe damage following last week’s extreme cold.

One of those buildings, the LeVeque Tower, was evacuated Tuesday due to a busted pipe; a spokesperson said Wednesday that the building has since reopened. The Ohio Statehouse also experienced severe leaking Tuesday. The Latitude Five25 Apartments were also evacuated because of problems there.

When Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Libby Gierach arrived to work this week, she saw water all over the floor in three rooms of the office. In 30 years with the chamber, she had never seen anything like it before.

“It was coming from the ceiling,” Gierach said. “We could see the pipe and it was probably about a six-inch burst and you could just see the water just doing like a volcano eruption from it, and it was just, like, couldn’t stop.”

Crews with plumbing company The Waterworks have been responding to about 1,000 calls a day.

“We’ve got a committed staff and they’re on call and they’re doing the best they can and servicing as many customers as possible,” said The Waterworks President David Specht. “Phones ringing nonstop. Our technicians are visiting homes and businesses nonstop, and it’s hectic for everyone right now.”

Back in Hilliard, the chamber is taking things one step at a time.

“We’re going to have to just get new drywall, new ceiling tiles, new flooring, the whole nine yards,” Gierach said. “So it’s going to be an adventure.”

Gierach said that as the chamber waits for its insurance company to come out to assess the damage, surrounding businesses have been helpful and supportive after finding out what happened.