As Chicago thaws, flooding reported across the city

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CHICAGO — As the city thaws after several days of record-breaking cold, Chicago plumbers and first responders are rushing to keep up with calls.

Firefighters on Saturday rescued a woman from an elevator after a pipe burst inside an apartment building.

A pipe that feeds the building’s sprinkler system broke in three separate spots — sending water into apartments, stairwells and the elevator. Before long, a woman became trapped in an elevator on the lower level with water up to her waist. Firefighters with the Chicago Fire Department were able to rescue the woman.

At Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, a water line broke early Saturday in the building’s subbasement. That line is used for steam for the building. The line will be repaired as soon as all the water is pumped out of the veteran’s hospital.

As of Saturday afternoon, the building was warm and none of the 131 patients were moved.

A plumber told WGN his company had a backlog of 140 calls on Saturday afternoon. The rapid temperature change is causing pipes in people’s homes to burst.

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