Pastor: Cold causes pipe burst in church

Over 800 gallons of water removed

Pastor: Cold causes pipe burst in church

WINTERVILLE, PITT COUNTY - A pipe burst caused a Winterville church to fill with over 800 gallons of water.

Winterville Free Will Baptist Church Pastor John Hill says the burst happened around 4:30 Saturday afternoon.

He was alerted to the situation by an alarm. When he went to see the cause, water came rushing at him. "It seemed like there was water coming in waves towards me, and I thought 'well, thank God it's not a fire'," said Hill.

Hill says the Winterville Fire Department responded, and determined the cause of the flooding; a burst pipe in the ceiling of the church. The pipe had ruptured in two spots located above the church's Sunday school wing. "There was water coming down from the ceiling, it was like raining inside. The tiles on the ceiling were falling constantly," he said.

Hill believes cold weather was the cause of the ruptures.

Stormtrack 12 Meteorologist Ellen Bacca says overnight Friday into Saturday, Winterville saw a low temperature of 16 degrees. By 5 p.m. Saturday, temperatures had risen to 43 degrees, but Hill says the damage had been done.

The amount of water released from the pipe was astounding. "They dumped their truck three times and it had 280 gallons in each truck, so it was a tremendous amount of water," said Hill.

Hill is waiting for insurance adjusters to determine the cost to repair the damage. "We're gonna have to replace the carpet, I know there's going to be some work done with that stage area to get the water from underneath it. It's gonna be a big mess for at least, probably three weeks or more," he said.

Hill says the church had their annual inspection on Friday, the day before the pipe burst.

Sunday school was cancelled as a result of the burst.

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