Flooding Causes Scramble for Boilers After Downtown Businesses Lose Hot Water

By on June 4, 2019

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  The company that runs the downtown steam loop went on a mad dash on Monday to find temporary boilers for a dozen downtown buildings — including a city jail, major hotels and sections of Busch Stadium — that lost their hot water thanks to the flooding Mississippi River.

Boilers came to St. Louis from across the Midwest overnight. “One is coming from Chicago, one from Indianapolis,” said Sean Hadley, spokesman for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District.

The hot-water problems came at a bad time, with hotels crowded for hockey’s Stanley Cup Final this week and the Cardinals-Cubs baseball three-game series this past weekend.

The trouble started about 4 a.m. Sunday at the Carr Street pump station on the Mississippi.

Crews with the sewer district have been manning the 28 stations along the river 24 hours a day since March to monitor the river’s near-historic flooding, said Hadley, who acted as spokesman for the city and businesses involved. Sunday morning, floodwater mixed with rainfall from a Saturday thunderstorm overwhelmed a pipe, causing the station to fill with water. The pumping station, which pumps storm and sewer water out of the city and into the Mississippi, had to close.

“There was nowhere for the water to go,” Hadley said.

Water flooded the street and the main plant for Ashley Energy, which provides steam to major downtown buildings through a 15-mile underground maze of of pipes sometimes called the “steam loop.”

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