An assisted living center on Long Island was evacuated in the early morning darkness Wednesday after a sprinkler pipe froze and burst, flooding several floors, officials said.
More than 130 elderly residents, some of whom use wheelchairs and walkers, had to be taken out of Maple Pointe in Rockville Centre after the pipe broke on the fifth floor in the middle of the night.
The electrical system in the building was also compromised by the flooding, and the building was without heat, officials said.
Firefighters were called to help with removing the residents, some of whom have dementia.
Some residents were placed on heated buses and others were picked up by relatives. Later in the day, many of them were taken to the Rockville Centre senior center for music and bingo.
Ken Gaynor, of Smithtown, said he was told by the assisted living facility that residents, including his 95-year-old mother, may not be able to get back in for a week.
The facility confirmed to NBC 4 New York that some residents will be taken to another assisted facility, some will stay in hotels and the rest were picked up by family.
Maple Pointe operators said none of the apartments were flooded with water, which flowed down through the middle of the building by way of the elevator shafts. The lobby and other common areas were most damaged.
--Greg Cergol contributed to this story