February 6, 2019 8:35 pm
Updated: February 6, 2019 9:15 pm

‘Knee-length water came gushing out’: Pipe bursts at Edmonton townhouse

WATCH ABOVE: A burst pipe sent water rushing out of a north Edmonton townhouse complex Tuesday night. Here's a look at the damage.


Several people are out of their homes after a suspected water pipe burst Tuesday night, which sent water pouring out of a second-storey townhouse suite.

Shortly after 10 p.m., Jean Hoffman-Otsuka Da Silva and her husband were sitting on their couch in their Griesbach townhouse when they heard a strange sound coming from outside.

“It sort of sounded like a really loud flushing toilet,” she explained.

READ MORE: Tuesday the coldest day in Edmonton in more than 9 years

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The couple didn’t think much of it until a few moments later, when the fire alarm began to ring loudly throughout the complex. They quickly grabbed their dogs and a few personal items and ran outside.

“As soon as we opened the door we heard this gushing waterfall sound,” Hoffman-Otsuka Da Silva said.

The water was rushing out of a window from the unit above and one over from Hoffman-Otsuka Da Silva’s. The multi-storey townhouse complex has upper and lower units, and the couple lives in a ground-floor suite.

READ MORE: Burst pipes wreak havoc across Calgary amid freezing cold weather

Not knowing if anyone was home in the affected unit, Hoffman-Otsuka Da Silva’s husband and few neighbours ran upstairs and began banging on the door. She said the group ended up kicking down the door to make sure everyone made it out safely.

“As soon as they opened the door, knee-length water came gushing out of the unit, spewing all over the place.”

No one was home at the time. Firefighters arrived on scene a short time later. Hoffman-Otsuka Da Silva said fire crews told them it’s believed a water pipe burst, which led to the flood.

The couple is staying with Hoffman-Otsuka Da Silva’s parents. She said they’re taking it day by day, but believe they will be out of their home until at least the end of the week.

“It’s quite frustrating to be displaced. But at the same time, I’m thinking very deeply about the people whose home was completely destroyed. That’s probably years’ worth of memories they can’t get back,” she said.

There’s no word on whether the cold temperatures were to blame for the flood.

“This building was built in 2015 so this is something that you really don’t expect out of a new development,” Hoffman-Otsuka Da Silva said. “Of course, cold temperatures or extreme temperatures of any kind can definitely be detrimental on our buildings. But something like this to happen at -40 was definitely unexpected.”

Watch below: The cold continues in Edmonton. It’s hard on people and buildings. More burst pipes have displaced more people. Fletcher Kent reports.

The residents of the north Edmonton complex aren’t the only ones cleaning up water damage.

The Westin Hotel in downtown Edmonton was forced to close its doors after a pipe burst on the fifth floor on Tuesday night.

Cleanup crews were at the hotel as yellow tape cordoned off the entrance Wednesday afternoon. Workers could be seen carrying large fans into the building.

“We are in the process of assessing the damage but we are unable to accommodate guests within the hotel for the next two days,” read a notice on the hotel’s front door on Wednesday.

Westin Hotel in downtown Edmonton was forced to close its doors after a pipe burst on the fifth floor on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.

Global News

Temperatures in Edmonton dipped to -28 C on Tuesday night. An extreme cold warning has been in place for much of the province for several days.

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