Broken Standpipe Forces Evacuation of Gardens Plaza

Broken Standpipe Forces Evacuation of Gardens Plaza

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Police and fire and emergency personnel evacuated the Gardens Plaza early Tuesday morning, displacing about 30 year round residents.

A frozen standpipe burst in the early morning hours Tuesday, inundating an Ocean City high rise condominium with thousands of gallons of water and forcing its evacuation.

Ocean City Police and Fire Department responded to the alarm at the Garden’s Plaza, 921 Park Place, at approximately 1:45 a.m.

The 15-story building of more than 180 units was immediately evacuated. About 30 year-round residents were asked to leave because power in the building needed to shut off, along with the building’s water system.

Fire and rescue personnel assisted with the evacuation of several elderly residents. Because the elevators were shut off, some residents had to be carried in stair chairs from their units.

The burst pipe, originating on the 15th floor’s north stairwell, caused water to spray out and down the stairs, inundating the lobby of the building and reportedly damaging more than a dozen units.

A look from down 3rd Street during the response. OCFD did an excellent job handling the evacuation.

“I received some pretty extensive damage. My carpeting is completely soaked,” resident Nick Mealo said.

Most residents gathered a few belongings in duffel bags and drove or were taken by police or ambulance to the Port-o-Call Hotel for emergency overnight housing. They had all checked in by 3:30 a.m.

It was unclear when the residents would be permitted to return to their homes, but police estimated it would be at least 24 hours.

Gardens Plaza on 3rd Street, pictured before the recent beach replenishment.