Damaged pipe floods HOVA floors

A damaged hot water pipe flooded three Hall on Virginia Avenue floors late Friday night. Residents were without reliable water service until 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

At around 10:15 p.m. Friday, a female HOVA resident kicked a third floor radiator, causing a hot water pipe to burst and damage the northwest side of the building. Water gushed down to the second and first floors. Students did not report any major damages to personal property, saying that water barely missed several computers.

Residential Property Management responded with about seven maintenance people and shut off water to the building’s 450 residents, a move that stopped the flooding.

“The rooms we have been in so far, we have talked to almost all the students; the water does not go in that far. None of them wanted relocation but we have offered,” property manager Robin Imer said Friday night. “Most of the damage was in the hallway.”

Imer added that students did not need to be evacuated from the building, though a musty smell stayed in the hallway. Two second-floor residents living directly below the leak chose to stay with friends in Thurston Hall, while their roommate stayed in HOVA.

“We are not exactly sure how it started,” Imer said late Friday night. “There is a leak and I don’t know the details; I think there is going to be a lot of water.”

On Saturday, Imer and other property management officials declined to further discuss the flood.

On Friday night, students watched as technicians knocked out walls in search of the leak on the second and third floors. Though the water was vacuumed from the affected areas, students still complained of moisture and a foul odor.

“The hallway was reminiscent of a muggy swamp,” said freshman Ethan Leavy, who lives adjacent to the leak.

A half-inch of water saturated the carpeted floors on the northwest side of the second and third floors. The water damaged cardboard boxes of food in Leavy’s room, but little else. He said the University did a good job offering him assistance. Other residents living on floors below the flooding did not report any damage to their personal property.

Technicians worked all day Saturday patching walls. Residential property management officials told students whose rooms were flooded that their floors would be shampooed and dried. As of Saturday afternoon, the cleaning had not been done and the rooms still smelled musty, said freshman Santorri Chamley-Watson, who lives directly below the leak.

“My lungs feel like I have smoked 1,000 cigarettes,” Chamley-Watson said the day after the leak.

Students affected by the burst pipe were told to take any damaged items to Residential Property Management for reimbursement.

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