Cold temps freeze, burst pipes at Ken's Korner

The recent cold snap caused two pipes to burst at Ken’s Korner Shopping Plaza on Tuesday.

Estimates of the damage were not known by South Whidbey Fire/EMS, which responded to the commercial alarm when one of the burst pipes triggered the sprinkler system. A fire district official said no one was injured.

“The water did infiltrate into some occupied spaces in the store and drained into some storage spaces underneath the mall,” said Deputy Chief Mike Cotton. “The water did a significant amount of damage.”

The broken pipes were in the ceiling of unoccupied units in the shopping center, which Cotton said used to be leased by Island Dance. Temperatures dipped into the low-20s this week and stayed below 50 degrees. Cotton said the pipes were not insulated and, because of being in an unoccupied space, were not exposed to a heated area, causing them to freeze and eventually rupture.

“I don’t think they turned on the heat there yet,” Cotton said.

Cooler temperatures, dropping to near and below freezing, are predicted by the National Weather Service for the area in the coming week. Cotton advised homeowners to check their pipes for insulation. He also cautioned people with chimneys to have them inspected before having fires. Those who use space heaters were encouraged to follow the product’s safety instructions on where they may be safely placed.

“Just be cautious,” he said.

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