Christmas Day in Utah County was anything but peaceful for water-department crews, plumbers and carpet cleaners.
Freezing temperatures caused waterlines and fire sprinkler systems to burst like pinatas all over the place. Around 5 p.m. a fire sprinkler-system pipe in the Orem City Center broke in the ceiling above the foyer between the library and city offices.Water leaked into the southwest corners of the library's main and basement floors, soaking new carpet installed in the building during the past several weeks. Water also flooded the council chambers.
No books or equipment were damaged in the library, according to City Manager Daryl Berlin. He said the city "won't know for days" if the newly laid carpet can be saved, although the city will do everything it can to salvage it.
The library, which had been closed for renovation, was scheduled to reopen Jan. 2. Berlin said the reopening may have to be postponed.
Water also dripped below the foyer into a room which stores back-up power generators for the city center.
A public safety dispatcher discovered the flooding while checking on the generators after a shorter-than-a-second power blink in the building, according to Public Safety spokesman Gerald Nielsen.
Nielsen said that over the past four days, Orem dispatchers handled more than 500 emergency calls, most of them about burst water pipes or traffic accidents. On an average day, Orem dispatchers handle 85-90 calls.
Dispatchers for Provo City and the Utah County Sheriff's Department also reported being flooded with such calls.
Street crews in Orem labored Monday afternoon and evening to repair a broken water main running under Center Street between the City Center and Smith's Food and Drug Store. Water was shut off in the area while the crews worked on the line.
Brigham Young University crews also had a grinchy Christmas because of flooding problems. A fire sprinkler system in the Tanner Building at BYU went off about 4:50 p.m. Christmas Day, according to BYU Police Sgt. Richard Decker.