High Rise Evacuated Due to Water Leak

Officials say around 250 residents of the 30-story building were evacuated because pipes burst on the 6th and 30th floors.

Residents of a Center City high rise were evacuated Tuesday night and were still not allowed to return to their homes as of Wednesday afternoon.

Two pipes, that were installed two years ago, burst at Center City One on the 1300 block of Spruce Street.

"We had two ruptures," said Chuck Doyle of Servpro, a cleanup and restoration company. "One on the 30th floor and one on the 6th floor. We had water on literally the entire structure. We had a couple floors in between down around 9, 10 and 11 that were minimally affected."

"We heard a couple of loud popping noises and we thought it was thunder," said resident John Marotta. "We opened our hallway door and saw water rushing down the hall. It was black and it had a smell of oil. It wasn't just clear running water."

There is no electricity and gas service at the building.  Crews working to repair the pipes must climb thirty flights of stairs since the elevators are down.

Maintenance workers were busy early Wednesday removing standing water from hallways and condos. They also brought in large fans to circulate air throughout the building.

"We have effectively removed the standing water from the structure," said Doyle. "Now we're in the process of getting large-scale desiccant dehumidifiers in place so we can start to dry the building down." 

"We just had our condo redone," said resident Harriet Seidman. "I'm a little anxious."

Residents are currently staying at a nearby hotel as the building dries out. A meeting will take place at 6 p.m. with more information on when they'll be able to return.

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"I think it's going to depend on whether their unit was affected at all," said Jeff Jacobs of the Condominium Association. "We understand that about half the units were unaffected."

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