Roof collapse leads to draining of water tanks

March 16, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

An emergency crew of 50 employees at Ingersoll-Dresser Pump in Taneytown worked most of yesterday to clean up debris left from a roof collapse early Sunday that broke a water main at the plant and drained the city's two water tanks.

The 300-foot-by-25-foot roof fell about 1 a.m. Sunday after some six feet of snow blew onto it from a higher part of the building, said Mary Yohe, an Ingersoll spokeswoman.

The damage wasn't discovered until about 9 a.m., and it was another three hours before city workmen could get through the snow and into the building to shut off the main that feeds the plant's sprinkler system.

"You'd have to see it," she said of the heavily damaged building. "I can't even describe it. The whole building has to be pulled up and rebuilt."

The collapsing room broke a 12-inch water main, which drained most of the city's water supply from two towers into the 30,000-square-foot building before the damage was discovered, Ms. Yohe said.

However, city officials said they didn't notice the drop in water pressure until they got up on Sunday morning.

"We found out about the problem by trying to take a shower about six in the morning with no water," said City Manager Joseph A. Mangini Jr.

He said the water main break triggered an alarm at the plant, but city firefighters thought it was a security alarm that was accidentally set off by the storm.

Water crews began searching the city's system for the break Sunday morning, and did not discover the break at Ingersoll until about 9 a.m.

"We had to get someone from the company and plow the road to get through," Mr. Mangini said. "We got in about noon to turn off the pipe feeding the sprinkler system. That didn't seem to take care of the problem, so we shut off the main [city pipe]."

Mr. Mangini said water pressure was restored about 3 p.m. Sunday and the city's two storage tanks were refilled by early yesterday. The two tanks hold a total of 1 million gallons of water.

"The public was real receptive," he said. "The only question they had was when it [water] was going to be turned on. I think everyone was delighted that it wasn't a problem with his own pipes."

The warehouse, an annex of the manufacturing facility on Taneytown Pike, was built in 1978 to house the company's inventory, and the shipping and receiving division. Approximately 15 employees work in that section, Ms. Yohe said.

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