MILFORD, Del. - Thursday was the first day since Monday that some on Delmarva saw temperatures above the freezing marks, and while it might feel much better for a lot of people, once frozen, now bursting pipes are flooding buildings and sending area plumbers into overdrive, but what's big business for plumbers has caused major headaches for many across the peninsula, and is keeping a couple hundred kids in one Sussex County school out of the classroom.
As workers pull up the carpet at in a kindergarten classroom at Morris Early Childhood Center in Lincoln, it's easy to see, the room is ruined.
Wednesday, morning, thousands of gallons of water poured out from the ceiling, when a piece of a pipe in the ceiling broke in half.
Glen Stevenson, Supervisor of Building & Grounds for the Milford School District says "it took about four hours for the ice inside the pipes to thaw out, in which time, the pressure in the system blew the ice out and when the pressure goes down, the water is soon to follow."
Before long, water from the sprinkler system was quickly pouring through the wall, and into an adjoining classroom.
This is just one in a long list of plumbing casualties caused by the big thaw, following this week's deep freeze.
Cases like this are boosting business for area plumbers. So much so, that WMDT contacted a number of plumbers who were too busy to speak with us. Finally, we were able to catch up with Jack Donovan, of Jack E. Donovan Plumbing, Heating and A/C in Milford in between plumbing emergencies.
The job he just came from"several pipes were broke underneath a crawl space."
Which was similar to a few others he's tackled this week maybe more than a few. "I'd say probably between 50 to 60. Since yesterday afternoon," says Donovan.
As he gets ready to head out to another call at 6:30 Thursday night, crews back at the school are getting the building ready for class on Monday.
Water damaged seven classrooms, but if it wasn't for help from local fire departments, school officials say this could've turned out much worse.
"They actually had a trough set up right here that was riveting water out this window, which probably saved us several classrooms," says Stevenson.
Morris Early Childcare Center has canceled it's classes tomorrow so crews can continue to clean up the mess and it's expected to take about two weeks to completely repair the rooms.
But as the temperature warms up over the next few days they're worried this could happen again, in another spot.
Unfortunately, they'll just have to wait it out to see if there's another crack in another pipe in another room.
If you notice broken pipes in your home, experts say to find your main water valve, and shut off the water flow as soon as you can before pipes burst. Then contact a plumber.
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