From Sea-Tac to schools: Bursting pipes wreak havoc across Western Washington

Image 1 of 8

Frigid temperatures have led to serious issues with burst pipes across Western Washington this week.

Over the last 36 hours, we’ve seen impacts everywhere from Sea-Tac Airport, to apartments, and even several schools.

At Sea-Tac, several burst pipes flooded the airport’s baggage claim late Monday evening.

Meanwhile, we spoke to a woman living in a West Seattle apartment complex who saw her sink spew sewer water into her living room and kitchen. She said that maintenance workers had tried to fix the issue, but couldn’t due to frozen pipes.

Over at Seattle University, brown water flooded student housing on Monday, forcing several students to evacuate. Brown water was seen pouring steadily into a stairwell in a video one student posted to social media. Seattle University confirmed that a frozen pipe burst at one of their student apartments and the flooding impacted at least nine students’ units on the first floor of the Hopkins building. The water had to be turned off for all students in that building.

That wasn’t all, though. Water also flooded nearly every inch of Greenwood’s Angry Beaver sports bar, forcing it to close indefinitely.

The Seattle Fire Department estimates that it responded to roughly 175 calls for burst pipes since last Friday.

To avoid this happening in your home or business, here’s what experts recommend:

  • Covering all exposed pipes
  • Keep your tap running on cold days to relieve pressure
  • Open your bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors to help circulate heated air
  • Keep your thermostat at a constant, steady temperature throughout the day

Early Tuesday morning, a handful of schools were either closed or delayed for burst pipes as well. That included schools in Granite Falls, Shoreline, Mount Baker, Issaquah, Sultan, Arlington, Lake Stevens, and Lake Washington.

You can see the full list of school closures here.