Posted: Tuesday, January 7th 2014 at 5:27pm
Helen businesses damaged by broken pipes
By Rob Moore Editor
The former Sunflower Chinese restaurant on Main Street in Helen was damaged when the sprinkler system froze and burst early Tuesday. (Photo/Rob Moore)
HELEN - Two Helen businesses sustained frozen pipes, one resulting in significant damage, early Tuesday.
Capt. Lee Poteat of Helen Fire Department said the now-vacant Sunflower Chinese restaurant, a former KFC which he described as about a 5,000-square-foot building, was filled with about eight inches of water when firefighters arrived.
That's not counting all the water that ran out of the building into the parking lot and onto surrounding properties.
City officials estimate that between 250,000 and 400,000 gallons of water flowed through the vacant building's fire sprinkler system into the parking lot, adjacent lots and even onto Edelweiss Street, resulting in icing issues.
"It was a lot of water," said Helen Public Works Director Ross Hewell.
At Jameson Inn near the entrance to the city, a pipe broke above the hotel's swimming pool, which overflowed as a result.
"Jameson Inn broke a sprinkler line just above their pool," Poteat said. "Thank goodness it was above the pool. The pool overflowed into the retention pond down there."
Tuesday afternoon, City Manager Jerry Elkins said additional broken pipes had been reported at several businesses in the city, including Charlemagne's Kingdom, Huddle House, and Alpine Village Inn. In addition, an outside faucet burst at the River Street public restrooms.
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