Burst Pipe Displaces Residents In 40 Apartment Units

Water main bursts and displaces residents in 20 units at the Cottonwoods on Gold Street and 20 units at an adjacent complex. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
Six feet of water floods the basement at the Cottonwoods on Gold Street. Photo by Mike McNeil
Los Alamos Daily Post

An overnight flood has displaced the residents occupying 40 apartment units in Los Alamos.

Plateau Property Construction and Maintenance Manager Mike McNeil explained that his crew responded to a no-heat call at 7 a.m. Tuesday from a resident at the Cottonwoods on Gold Street … they discovered the basement filled with six feet of water.

“A water main burst overnight and crews from our company and from the County spent the next six hours draining the basement and assessing damages,” McNeil told the Los Alamos Daily Post during an interview Wednesday afternoon. “Due to the damage we were red tagged by the County and all utilities to the affected buildings at 3711, 3707 and 3715 were shut off – making resident evacuation of 20 units necessary.”

The flood streamed down to the adjacent Cortright Apartment building displacing residents in 20 units there. The gas has been shut off in that building so there is no heat. The state building inspector is scheduled to assess that building today.

Plateau Property staff worked with the County, which negotiated a reduced rate with Buffalo Thunder to furnish rooms for those displaced residents unable to stay with family or friends while repairs are completed. Plateau Property is providing a per diem during this time and pro-rated rent will be credited back to the residents, McNeil said, adding that there also will be a reimbursement amount provided to residents for food loss in their refrigerators.

“We are working with the state building inspector scheduled to be here mid-morning (today) and we hope to be cleared to restore power, so repairs can get underway,” McNeil said. “We’re going to have to install two new boilers, a hot water heater, a storage tank and work on the electrical. This is a lengthy process involving numerous contractors and state inspections working in conjunction with our maintenance team.”

Plateau Property Operations Manager Karen Smith said her team is staying in close contact with the displaced residents to keep them updated.

“Our top priority here is to make sure we work as safely and quickly as possible to get our residents back in their home,” Smith said. “The great thing about our community is that in tough times it pulls together, and we recognize that, and we appreciate it.”

Smith asks for anyone with space available for displaced residents to call her at 505.661.0211 Ext. 104.

Water begins filling the stairwell from a burst water main at the Cottonwoods on Gold Street. Photo by Mike McNeil

Water from the burst pipe seeps into an electrical meter at the Cottonwoods on Gold Street. Photo by Mike McNeil