Recent cold temperatures led to a few instances of broken water pipes Tuesday into Wednesday, including in the unoccupied former MaineGeneral Health Seton campus building in Waterville.

At the State House complex in Augusta, a broken sprinkler head in the entrance of the Cross State Office Building caused flooding in some first-floor rooms Tuesday afternoon. The lobby of the Maine State Cultural Building, which houses the state archive, the state library and the state museum, has been dealing with a leaky roof because of snow since last week.

A burst pipe also caused a few inches of water to flood the Winthrop Area YMCA’s office before the problem was discovered Wednesday morning.

Pipes freezing and bursting typically becomes more of a problem in the spring, when temperatures start to warm, said Capt. Rodney Alderman, of the Waterville Fire Department.

At the Seton campus, a neighbor reported around 5:30 a.m. that a building alarm had been going off since 10 p.m., Alderman said. Waterville firefighters discovered part of the sprinkler system and multiple water pipes had broken, flooding part of the basement, he said.

It appeared the water had just spilled on concrete floors, but Alderman said he didn’t know the extent of the damage to the pipes. Firefighters turned the building over to a representative for the building owner around 8 a.m., the fire captain said.

“What happens in these unheated spaces is the water in the pipes will freeze and expand, break the pipes, and then when it warms up a bit, the water starts flowing,” Alderman said.

To avoid pipes bursting in unheated spaces, building owners should leave a faucet running at the point farthest from where the water enters the building, Alderman said.

A subsidiary of Portland-based Dirigo Capital Advisors LLC bought the former hospital from MaineGeneral Health in 2013 for $500,000. Kevin Mattson, president of Dirigo Capital Advisors, didn’t respond to a phone call for comment. The company also owns the former MaineGeneral Health hospital on East Chestnut Street in Augusta.

Saturday through Tuesday was the longest stretch of subzero temperatures in Augusta all winter, according to preliminary monthly climate data from the National Weather Service. Temperatures warmed slightly Tuesday evening, the first day since Feb. 11 that temperatures in Augusta stayed in the teens beyond 5 p.m., according to Weather Underground.

The cold caused the sprinkler head in the entrance of the west side of the Cross Building at the State House complex to break Tuesday afternoon, said Grant Pennoyer, executive director of the Legislative Council. Water poured out of the entrance and into some lower-level rooms occupied by the press corps, Pennoyer said.

The damage didn’t appear to be serious, but some equipment may have been damaged, he said.

At the nearby cultural building, crews were clearing snow off the lobby roof Wednesday. The roof has been leaking since last week, said Kristen Muszynski, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of the Secretary of State, which oversees the archives. She said Wednesday that the leaking had subsided since last week, and none of the materials in the archives were in danger.

“Right now it’s just the inconvenience of having a bunch of trash cans lining the entrance way,” Muszynski said.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig

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