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Flooding strikes DL bowling alley

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Voyageur Lanes bowling alley in Detroit Lakes will be closed for a few days after a broken sprinkler system caused flooding problems Wednesday evening.

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Thanks to the help of firefighters with squeegees and a serviceman with a water pump, the bowling lanes and approaches were saved from flooding, said manager Guy Hopper.

“The firefighters really saved our lanes and approaches,” he said. “When they got here, the water was almost over the top of the approaches.

“They built a dam with their fire hoses and used squeegees to push it out the front door as it was coming out.”

The fire-prevention sprinkler system apparently sustained frozen pipes in a colder backroom area, which caused the system to pour water out throughout the building, according to Detroit Lakes Fire Chief Scott Flynn.

“It was something we couldn’t shut off here, so we had to call the city,” said Hopper. It took quite a while to get the water shut off, he added.

Flynn said a city power worker came out and shut off the building’s electricity.

A city water crew also came out and had to shut the water off at the main, after locating it in the street, he added.

“We’re assuming it (a sprinkler system pipe) froze,” Flynn said. “It was in a back room and workers said it got pretty cold back there.”

As the water was falling, firefighters kept pushing it out the front door, and Brian Andring of All Star Cleaning Service set up a pump to move water out before it could flood the sensitive areas of the 16-lane bowling alley, located on the lake and the Pelican River at 1377 West Lake Drive.

“If not for him (Andring) and the firefighters, we would not have saved the lanes and approaches,” Hopper said. “The rest of the building got pretty wet.”

Crews are now in the process of cleaning up and drying out the parts of the building that flooded, Hopper said.

“If we’re lucky, Monday or Tuesday we’ll be open,” he said on Friday. “All we can do is play things by ear.”

Firefighters were on the scene for about two hours after the 911 call came into the sheriff’s office, Flynn said.

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