Editor’s Note: Darren Marcy’s article first appeared on Valley News on August 20th.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Some businesses were given permission to reopen on Friday, 130 years after a broken water pipe flooded the building’s basement with an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 gallons of water Monday night. Cleaning and repairs continued at Gates Briggsville, which has a history of
Hartford Fire Marshal Tom Pelletier said the temporary occupancy will allow businesses in the building to resume Friday after all conditions related to maintaining the fire safety system have been restored to working order. said he had approved the
The water main feeding the sprinkler system was still under repair Friday afternoon, but the system was set up to allow pump trucks to supply water, allowing residents to reopen the building. There are no residential units inside.
Some businesses have reopened with limited capacity, while others may not return for a week or more to clean up. announced that it would close its business.
Her basement had only about eight inches more water than the rest of the building, but she said leftover silt still messed things up.
David Briggs, who manages the building for the family trust that owns it, said cleaning will make the building “like new when it’s finished.”
A line break that flooded the basement continued to cause problems on Friday as a 3- to 4-foot-wide, 8-foot-deep sinkhole opened in the sidewalk along North Main Street near Tuckerbox.
Town manager Tracy Yarlott-Davis said the town has closed sidewalks and parking spaces on that side until technicians can determine repairs are needed.
Until the plumbing is fully repaired and the water supply is connected to the sprinkler system, the restaurant’s Tuckerbox and Peace Meal Pies will be restricted to reduced occupancy, Yarlot Davis said.
The Briggs Opera House on the 2nd floor is closed, there is a power outage, and no residency permits have been issued.
According to Briggs, the opera house’s electrical panels are underground and the crew wanted to inspect them more carefully before deciding whether they were safe. According to Briggs, one small theater production has moved to the Hotel Coolidge.
Briggs said work is underway, but it’s up to the supply chain to determine how long repairs will take.
“Critical tasks are completely dependent on the equipment supply line,” Briggs said, adding that the two main pieces of equipment are usually on the shelves, though availability won’t be known until Monday. .
With the equipment in hand, installation is a two-day job, Briggs said.
“It could be done by the end of next week, but it could also take quite a while,” said Briggs.
The building is under “fire watch” and the building owner is required to man the site 24 hours a day.
“The staff literally has to go through the entire building to make sure nothing goes wrong,” Pelletier said. “They walk around the building to make sure there are no hazards, fire, smoke, etc.”
Pelletier said the building is considered structurally sound and the problem has been mitigated due to temporary occupancy, but if conditions change, the building will be reassessed next week or sooner. I plan to
“For the time being, all systems and components have been inspected,” said Peltier.
He said the fire alarm system was working and the electrical system was safe.
The cause of the flood was determined to be a ruptured water pipe feeding the basement’s sprinkler system, filling the basement with waist-deep water before it stopped.
Yarlott-Davis said on Friday the town was still investigating the incident, but said there was no indication that construction in the area had anything to do with the break.
“We haven’t worked on that side of the building in over 40 days,” says Yarlott-Davis. “There were no signs of pressure spikes or anything like that.”
Briggs said he would wait before mentioning these details.
“Professionals and professionals will sort it out and look at the reality of it,” said Briggs. “We recorded it very well.”
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