Open window, heat off leaves mess to clean up

Amy Poppinga

Amy Poppinga

A water pipe burst in a Young Hall dorm room, pumping water into the room and approximately five others on the third floor on Feb. 10.

The room’s occupant turned off his heat and opened his window, which led to the eventual freezing and rupture of the pipe, said Michael Kervin, director of Residential Life.

Some residents noticed water leaking out of the room, which prompted them to contact their Resident Assistant (RA), Shawn Meinen. The room’s owner had just left before the pipe broke, said Meinen.

Meinen had to run down to the front desk and get a key for the room. By the time he entered the room, a cloud of steam had formed, and he could barely see the other side of the room, he said.

The building’s water circulation pumps were quickly shut off, and the clean up began. Some of the hall’s RAs used carpet extractors and shop vacuums to suck up the watery mess. Some of the hall’s residents even stopped their activities to help, said Melissa Griffith, the women’s third floor RA.

“We actually had some fun cleaning it up, and we were joking that we should use this as a social program,” said Griffith, a German and sociology major.

Meinen estimated that the plumber only needed an hour to repair the pipes. He does not believe that any permanent damage was done to the rooms, but some of the residents’ personal items may have been affected. If the room’s owner is found at fault for the incident, it is possible that he could be charged for the repairs, the RAs said.

The incident was more annoying than anything, Meinen said, and Young and Binnewies Hall residents did suffer a few inconveniences. Griffith said that some girls complained about being cold, but the heat was only shut off for a few minutes on her floor. Meinen said that his floor did not have any hot water until the next morning, and it also smelled bad for a while.

The whole event was a bit like “déj