Tuesday, February 18 2014, 03:10 PM EST
Delta Queen Riverboat Closed Due to Broken Pipes and Flooding
The Delta Queen Riverboat is under wraps, circled with yellow caution tape and apparently out-of-commission due to broken pipes that flooded the interior. The riverboat, which serves as a hotel, is currently closed for business.
In an e-mailed statement the current owner, Leigh Ann Ingram said, "The Delta Queen was not built withstand extremely harsh winters and sub-zero temperatures, as it was never intended to operate in such conditions. Some of the piping in the exterior walls lacks the heavy insulation required to protect the waterlines in such cold temperatures. It is for that reason the vessel was always kept in New Orleans during the winter months while still cruising.
"Unfortunately, like many homes and buildings, the Delta Queen [recently] experienced some freezing pipes. We immediately called in former crew members to assess the damage and repair the leaks. As you can imagine, with five decks, 88 passenger cabins and nearly 50 crew cabins there are a lot of pipes hidden in the many intricately wood paneled walls. Each leak has to be detected, isolated and repaired one by one, this is unfortunately a slow process. We are primarily concerned about the safety of our guests and as a precaution do not plan to re-open the hotel until all the proper repairs are completed."
The Delta Queen has been the subject of controversy after the City of Chattanooga gave the owners an ultimatum, claiming the owners were behind on rent payments.
The city finally granted the owners an extension. The City of Cincinnati has been lobbying in an effort to get the historic paddle wheeler moved there.