Nature Begins Demolition of the Hine Buildings
Burst Water Pipes Cause Major Flooding and Damage
By Larry Janezich
Near record cold temperatures last week apparently began the demolition of the Hine buildings in advance of any development. Yesterday, neighbors reported water pouring out of the building and collecting outside the building. Today, water could still be seen dripping from the upper floors in numerous locations and running out from under the doors of both major buildings.
Matt Harris, Eastbanc’s project manager for the Hine development, told CHC that his team was still assessing the exact nature of the problem and would know more once the water to the building had been shut off. DC Water responded to a call from Stanton/Eastbanc (SEB) yesterday and closed a valve on 7th Street, but that apparently failed to cut the supply as water continued to flow out of the building.
Called back today by Harris, a DC Water crew confirmed that yesterday’s valve had been shut and told CHC that their maps showed the valve as the only water supply for the building. The crew closed another valve leading from the water main on 7th Street, but as of mid-afternoon today DC Water was unable to say whether they had solved the problem.
Harris said that SEB had requested DC Water to turn off supply to the buildings after SEB took control of the site in July, but either they had failed to do so or their efforts had been incomplete – a distinct possibility, given the reported difficulty the crew today had in determining where the water supply was coming from.
Harris said that his team would have to pump water out of the basement and dry the building out with fans. Development of mold in the building resulting from the water leak would complicate the developer’s demolition once it begins. As of now, Harris said they would proceed step by step to determine what is necessary.