Frigid temps burst pipes at Bristol's Reynolds school


Across Rhode Island, the sub-freezing temperatures are causing water pipes to burst, and Bristol is no different.

Shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, Matt Calderiso, facilities manager for the Town of Bristol, received a call that water was gushing from a pipe in the boiler room in the basement of the old Reynolds school building. When he arrived, he waded through about a foot of water to reach the leak's source and turn it off.

"I figured with the heat running, we'd be fine," he said.

The heating system works by circulating air from the outside into the unit. Mr. Calderiso believed that the flap allowing the cold air exchange may have been stuck, causing the pipe to burst.

The basement is where the Bristol Theater Company stores its props. Mr. Calderiso was unsure at the time whether or not those items suffered any damage.

The water was eventually drained through a sump-pump system, and the town's insurance company was called to assess the damage.

The Bristol County Water Authority issued a release of tips to prevent pipes from freezing and breaking during the cold.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.