AP NEWS

All stores re-opened after broken pipe floods South Hills Village mall

September 1, 2018

Water pour through a hole in the ceiling at South Hills Village Mall Thursday, August 18, 2018.

The 10 stores impacted by a flood at South Hills Village mall re-opened Friday afternoon.

The Apple Store, which sustained the most water damage, was the last to open at noon.

A fountain of black murky water burst through the ceiling at South Hills Village mall Thursday afternoon, leaving a pond of water in the center of the mall and shutting down the 10 stores for the night.

Most of the stores closed Thursday because of the water ponding in front of them, spokesman Mike McGrath said. He did not have a total cost for damages.

The Apple store had a shallow pool of water “fairly well into the store,” he said.

The pipe that burst leads to the mall’s sprinkler system. When it broke, the ceiling couldn’t hold the water. Some drywall came down with the water.

Angela McMasters, owner of Oil & Vinegar, was working inside her store located on the second floor of the mall Thursday afternoon when she heard a loud noise, followed by the steady sound of pouring water.

Just across the mall’s center court, a shower of water -- at first black -- was raining through the ceiling.

“It just kept coming and coming and coming,” McMasters said.

Her first thought was: “Oh my God, I hope that doesn’t come into our store,” she said.

The Apple Store got the bulk of the water. She immediately began thinking of ways to help.

Water puddled around the first and second floors of the mall and there was no way for customers to get to her store. So, she closed up shop for the night. Just as she was leaving at 4:15 p.m., and crews were cleaning up, power was shut off to her store, so she couldn’t have stayed open anyway.

McMasters, a small business owner, said she was impressed with the way store owners came together to help clean up.

McGrath said, other than the Apple Store opening later on Friday, the only way shoppers will know about yesterday’s rain show is if they look up at the ceiling.

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