The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

A flood in Mayer Hall, caused by a broken sprinkler, drenches College freshman Shi Yang's room in two inches of water. Ten residents of the fifth floor have been relocated. [J.S. Taylor/The Daily Pennsylvanian]

Flooding in Mayer Hall last night sent 10 residents to the Sheraton University City and kept many out of their rooms for over an hour.

The flooding started when a baseball knocked a sprinkler head off the hallway wall outside of room 506 around 7:45 p.m., instigating a water flow that was not shut off for another 20 to 25 minutes, according to Stouffer College House officials.

The water "was just shooting out -- it sounded like a fire hydrant," Wharton and Engineering senior Andy Poenicke said.

After the water was turned off, two inches of water covered parts of the fifth floor, and dripping continued down into the lobby.

"It was one sprinkler, and it just caused a lot of damage," fifth-floor Graduate Associate Derek Sanders said, noting that his residents took the flooding "calmly."

Although some were frustrated by the length of time the water remained on, Fire Department officials are required to check the building before alarms are deactivated, according to Facilities officials.

"You can't do anything before they get here," Residences Plumber Shaster Plasota said.

Both Facilities and Housing officials noted that delays were increased because of the timing of the flood.

"It's Sunday night, and things are slower," Stouffer College House Dean Anne Mickle said.

Noting that additional facilities crews would be called to the scene, Plasota said that water vacuums would be used late yesterday evening.

"A crew has been called over to bring rowboats," he joked.

Calling the flood "normal," Shaster said the damages were similar to those incurred recently in other University residences.

Flooding in Harnwell College House -- caused by a burst pipe -- sent two residents to the Sheraton on Sept. 25 and damaged several rooms.

"The fifth floor is really the only one that got hit bad," Mickle said of the Mayer flood. "It just looks horrible."

"Everyone is coming together and helping," she added, pointing to residents -- barefooted and donning rolled-up pant legs -- mopping up the fifth floor hallway with towels.

"It was really kind of nice," Sanders said. "All the residents really pitched in."

Joking that the "fishing conditions aren't great," Wharton sophomore and fourth-floor resident Matt Herrington put waders on to assist the floor cleanup.

"There's some puddles and stuff on my hall," he said. "But nothing like what these guys have."

Although most resident rooms were not damaged, students were unhappy with the evacuation that kept them out of their rooms for over an hour while Facilities crews assessed the damages.

"My room is fine, but it's just a waste of time," College sophomore Tyler Shapiro said.

Others who were waiting were told their rooms were not damaged, but concerns still lingered.

"I was doing homework and all my notebooks were open... so I'm worried," said Wharton sophomore Eugene Kim, while waiting to be allowed upstairs.

Calling the entire evening "unbelievable," Sanders said the flood still had an upside.

"It's a great freshman experience," he said. "It's something they'll never forget."

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.