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Frigid temperatures cause above-ground pool to burst

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, @CatherineH_WFMZ, chawley@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 09 2014 05:07:35 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 10 2014 10:00:23 AM CST

When Bernadette Wasmer looked out her window earlier this week, she knew something wasn't right.

TELFORD, Pa. -

When Bernadette Wasmer looked out her window earlier this week, she knew something wasn't right.

"I was just thinking, 'Oh dear lord, what happened?" she recalled.

The Wasmers' 27-foot round above-ground pool was a mangled mess.

"Like a bomb flew into the backyard, something like that," Wasmer explained.

The Telford, Montgomery Co., woman said she thinks a massive ice chunk expanding inside the pool pushed on the walls until they split apart. The ice took out her fence, part of her neighbor's fence, and made a mess of both yards.

"Right now, it's frozen, so we can't really clean it up," Wasmer said. "But once that is done, there is a lot of damage to the ground that needs to be taken care of."

The pool was only about 8-years-old, and Wasmer said they winterize it and use an air pillow when they're done using it for the season.

"Not very common at all. It’s very rare," said Jason Davis, a pool expert with Pelican Leisure Sports in Quakertown, Bucks Co.

The Wasmers' pool appears to have buckled right where the skimmer and return attach to the wall. Davis said that could be a clue about why the pool broke apart.

"Sometimes, you'll get a slow leak through there, and over time it will start to build up rust," said Davis. "The rust will corrode away the steel, and eventually it will give way in that location."

He said this could have been a problem just waiting to happen, but the expanding ice could also have been the culprit in destroying the Wasmers' swimming pool.

"There is so much more to it than just the pool," Wasmer said. "I think replacing the pool is the easiest part of all. Just taking care of the yard and all of those things are a little bit more complicated."

Wasmer said insurance won't cover the damage, and she is disappointed, however, she's keeping it all in perspective.

"There are worse things than a busted pool," she smiled.