Pipes bursting throughout Twin Cities metro as temperatures rise

Following the extreme freeze, pipes are bursting all around the Twin Cities. In Minneapolis alone, officials believe they have responded to dozens of calls and with a warm weekend ahead, it won’t be slowing down.

“Yeah, usually you see cakes, brownies, sprinkles, but today there’s just a lot mud, a lot debris, a lot of paneling - a lot of work to be done,” said Dulce Monterrubio, the owner of Dulceria Bakery.

It’s definitely not they day Monterrubio had in mind; Friday was supposed to be a day of baking ahead of Dulceria Bakery’s post-polar vortex reopening this weekend. 

“We decided to close the door for three days thinking that after the 29 below we’ll reopen, we’ll have hot cocoa, some specials, and we’ll be ready to get everyone in the door,” she said.

It wasn't until Thursday she says she noticed frozen pipes. They acted fast and thought they were in the clear. 

“We had a warm towel on the inside pipes, there was a hair dryer being used,” said Monterrubio. “We eventually had a professional plumber come in and help us with the pipes that were frozen the most to make sure that we were careful in that process to minimize that chance of a burst pipe.”

All it took was a crack the length of a fingernail. 

“The access to our basement was completely flooding going downstairs,” she said.

Hers was one of nearly 60 calls the Minneapolis Fire Department has responded to as the temperatures rise.

“It’s been crazy,” said Minneapolis Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Tyner. “The other day we had to fight a fire out in 28 below weather. And now because of the warmth, which we are all grateful for, but it causes a lot of problems.”

Tyner says crews have been responding to pipe burst calls at a rate of nearly two an hour in Minneapolis alone. Warm temperatures this weekend could cause that number to rise even higher.

“If they do happen to break, well the damage is done,” said Tyner. “Call 911. We can get that shut off for you, help you clean up. And then they’re probably going to have to call their insurance company to get involved.”

“It has been really scary,” said Monterrubio. “We’re a small business, family owned. Everything we have we’ve put into opening this space and so it has been really scare that these things happen, but they are out of their control.”

Monterrubio says she’s planning to reopen on Wednesday.