Flood displaces Basin families Patrick Parkinson Of the Record staff
Roughly 15 Snyderville residents were homeless last weekend after a flood damaged three apartments at 2627 West Kilby Road.
"They were all on the ground floor," Park City Fire District spokeswoman Tricia Hurd said. American Red Cross officials obtained lodging for the displaced people Saturday at the Landmark Inn at Kimball Junction, she added. "They were all Hispanic so they needed an interpreter," she said.
The breach occurred on a water pipe in a stairwell, which supplies fire sprinklers in a building at Elk Meadows apartments, Hurd said. "The break was right next to the shut-off valve and they were unable to turn it off at the main," she said. "It could be nobody’s fault if it really comes down to the heat tape, how would you ever know." Firefighters in Pinebrook were contacted around 10:30 a.m. "There was about three inches of water," said Elk Meadows site manager Orlando Valdez. "It was geysering out. It was spraying out like a fire hydrant."
The water destroyed carpet padding in two units and some water seeped into a third, he said, adding that a Gorgoza Mutual Water Company employee arrived around 11 a.m.
Several valves were frozen so "the quickest measure, of course, was to hit the main valve so we could get that water out of there," Valdez said.
"He had to go to the main valve which then turned off the water for the entire complex," he added. Valdez did not have a damage estimate Monday but blamed officials at the fire sprinkler company for the ruptured pipe.
"We just had them inspected and according to some paperwork they said they put heaters in there," Valdez said, claiming no heat devices were installed.
Electric heat tape, which also helps keeps pipes from freezing, was not functioning in the area of the break, he added. "We’re going after their insurance. That was supposed to be inspected," Valdez said.
A tenant approached the property manager in his office around 10:15 a.m. on Saturday to report the leak. "It was a major leak," Valdez said. "I think it had been going for maybe 30 minutes." He praised Gorgoza officials and firefighters for their quick responses. "They’ve been drying the units out since Saturday," Valdez said. Though nobody was injured in the flood, some of the residents lost personal items, he added. "I felt bad," Valdez said, adding that four families were displaced by the flood. The water was shut off at the apartments for about two hours while the technician repaired the pipe in a bottom stairwell, he said, adding that a section of it needed to be replaced.
Firefighters pumped most of the standing water out of the apartments but Valdez didn’t expect the renters to return to their homes until Tuesday.
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