WEATHER

Ruptured pipes and water main breaks plague area

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(WJLA) - The weather may be warming up but the cold weather problems persist. Pipes are bursting at homes and businesses around the metro area, creating messes and keeping plumbers very busy.

The Regal Ballston Common 12 Theater was closed Thursday because of ruptured water pipes. The theater's manager says three of the 12 theaters were flooded, leaving seats soaked and ceiling tiles damaged. He says clean-up crews are working hard and hope to have the theater back open on Friday.

Meanwhile, WSSC says it still needs to repair 45 more water mains that broke during the frigid weather. Crews fixed 27 broken pipes in the past day alone.

In Silver Spring, Fenton Street was shut down for most of Thursday morning while crews made repairs.

All the mess at a home in south Arlington started with a big surprise in the middle of the night. 

"At 4:30 a.m. I heard this big boom," says Sheri Singer. "Sounded like half the building fell off in the back."

A pipe burst, sending water gushing into the back yard. While Singer has water in her kitchen, replacing the pipe in the bathroom means removing the bathtub and replacing the installation. 

“I sort of expected $500 to $1,000 in damage,” Singer says. “Didn’t expect $3,000 plus.” 

Kabir Shafik, the co-owner of All Plumbing, Inc. in Arlington, has been working non-stop this week. Calls are up more than 300 percent from a typical week.

“It’s pretty bad,” Kabir says. “A lot of people been displaced and go to hotels because they don’t have water.” 

The cold temperatures led to a busted valve at one Arlington home, which led to a steady leak. Shafik is making the replacement, while homeowner Christina Stafford is making the best of the situation.

“It’s just that time of year. Bad luck, I guess,” she says.

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