Pipes burst as temperatures dip below freezing in Vancouver

A restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown has been flooded, with a long wait time for help, as pipes explode in rare below-freezing temperatures across the city.

While they wait, the water can easily cause significant damage to homes and businesses.

Kim Tran got the news that her restaurant was flooding while she was preparing for a New Year’s Eve dinner service.

“I’m completely blindsided. I felt so defeated, and everything we built in that restaurant — it took us a year and a half to build,” she said, through tears.

“I felt so helpless, and … with all the staff not knowing what to do, freaking out, I had no answers.”

Her business, DD Mau, serves modern Vietnamese food to diners.Tran says plumbers are hard to get a hold of at a time like this, which doesn’t make recovery any easier.

“We were on hold for 15, 20 minutes. As soon as we got a dispatcher, they were like, ‘No, we’re completely full,'” she said.

“They didn’t even have anything opening up until the end of next week, and it’s an emergency.”

The flooding also put employees in a precarious situation. DD Mau’s staff are not sure when, or if, they will be able to return to work safely.

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Shareef Sadain, a journeyman plumber in North Vancouver, confirms the industry is completely slammed with emergency calls.

“People don’t have their pipes buried at the correct depth, especially in older homes. Piping isn’t insulated and it’s not up to code they’ve set up, so Vancouver homes just aren’t ready for freezing,” he said.

Response crews will have their hands full this winter season, and if the temperatures continue to drop, more pipes around the city could burst, he warns.

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