Water cascades from Biddle’s ceilings

Water cascades from Biddle’s ceilings

Photos taken of the aftermath of the Biddle Hall pipe burst, Friday.

Nathan Bottiger, Managing Editor

Students and professors were greeted last Thursday by a hydraulic anomaly that put an end to most of their scholarly work on Halloween day.

English professor Ann Rea said she was walking down a Biddle hallway when she encountered writing professor Eric Schwerer hustling down the hall.

Rea said, when she reached the disturbance, she realized what all the fuss was about.

“The water was literally pouring down between a couple tiles and flowing down the hallway,” Rea said. “It was really dramatic.”

Rea said the water was coming out in gallons and was a couple inches high in some places, and that the water seemed to be hot because there was steam drifting off it.

She said her initial concern was that equipment would be damaged, but most was elevated high enough to avoid any damage.

“I was worried about the computers.”

Rea said the incident was alarming because there will most likely be damage to the newly installed flooring in some Biddle rooms.

Although there is concern for the possibly costly accident, Rea said the scenario was also charmingly funny.

In accordance to Halloween celebration, some professors in the English and Writing departments dressed up, after votes by students, in particular costumes for the day.

Rea, dressed as the Mad Hatter, stood watching the incident with four other participating faculty members and trying to stop some of the flow by using garbage cans to collect the water.

She also said, at one point, a custodian stopped to help without fully realizing the gravity of the situation, bringing a mop and paper towels.

“It wasn’t a job you could accomplish with paper towels,” Rea said.

She said overall the students seemed pleased, despite the unexpected event.

“Some people thought it was the best day ever.”

According to a campuswide email, four downstairs and five upstairs classrooms were closed off for the remainder of the day.

Rea said most professors either canceled classes or relocated them to unused rooms. She held two classes in her shared office lounge area.

Rea said she would have felt bad not having class that day, considering that she has midterm exams scheduled for this week.

By the day’s end there was yellow tape blocking off stairwells and areas where students were told not to walk.

Physical Plant officials were unavailable for comment, as of Friday.

It is unclear what caused the sudden flooding. Initially, some thought it was due to a burst water line, but others speculated the possibility that there was a failure with the fire prevention sprinkler system.

The hallway was usable by the next day, but the extent of the damages is still unclear.

Rea said she did not know when the classrooms were going to be deemed usable, or where temporary room changes would be made.