Church cleans up after pipes freeze then burst

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WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The congregation at a Woodford County church has a mess to clean up Tuesday night, and they blame the extreme cold for most of it.

People at Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church say water damage is throughout much of the building. It started Saturday before the weather even hit when a valve broke and then a couple days later followed a pipe bursting upstairs in the church.

"You wouldn't believe the amount of water that was in this," said Dennis O'Connell, the church's project manager. "We have two sheets of ice above his double layered drywall ceiling."

Then adding extreme temperatures to the mix, the damage is something you cannot prepare for.

"Because of two nights redundant zero degree weather it's unpredictable," said O'Connell.

The bitter weather already pumped the brakes on the expansion of the fairly new building and now this.

"The water had filled up this whole area and was cascading out the back door," said O'Connell. "There was a block of ice out there. You couldn't open up that door."

The finished basement area is now useless, where Wednesday services usually start with a meal but won't this week.

"We've got 75 fans hooked up," said O'Connell. "It's disrupting their business. And their business is saving souls I guess!"

And the worst has yet to come, once the pipes are no longer frozen.

"When it thaws out, ya'll are going to get a lot more calls. I promise you. You'll see a lot more things busting and letting loose," said O'Connell. "Plumbers will be busy!"

The clean-up alone has cost the church more than 20,000 dollars already, and a church trustee says they expect more expenses to follow.

For now, water has been shut off in the church. A trustee there says he hopes they will be able to have services on Sunday since the sanctuary remains untouched.

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