Towers experiences flood

Sprinkler interrupts the night in the upper-campus residence hall


Photo by Anna Mateffy

A firefighter assesses the damage done by the flood Thursday night in Towers North.

A little after 10 p.m. Thursday night, the residents of Towers North got a wet wakeup call as a sprinkler doused the men’s side of the eighth floor.

Freshman Jesse Kozak, who was writing a paper at the time of the incident, said although his room was not drenched, his hallway was flooded.

The women’s side was unaffected.

Rachael Mickelson was working security during the fiasco. She said everyone in the residence hall “piled outside, just like a normal fire drill” before they realized the university most likely would not issue a drill that time of night.

Some students went outside, others crammed themselves into the already filled Towers commons waiting for news from the authorities. Resident Assistants stood in front of the elevators and stairwells to keep people from getting in the way.

At 11:44 p.m., the students were given the all clear and told to go directly to their rooms.

Roommates Cassie Spartz and Cory Lipinoga live on the sixth floor and said was a bit soggy.

The water drained through the eighth floor through the floors and out the windowsills. By 11:30 p.m., firemen were still pushing water out of the Towers lobby with large squeegees and a small leak in the common’s ceiling developed.

Spartz and Lipinoga returned to their room after the all clear to find a puddle that spanned the entire far wall and full buckets under the window. Lipinoga’s bed, which sits under the windows, was soaked. The water saturated her comforter, a tie blanket, both sheets and even all the way through her mattress pad.

“I don’t know where I’m going to sleep,” Lipinoga said.

Hall Director Samantha Thorpe and RAs handed out garbage bags after they went back to their rooms. The residents were told to write their room number on the bags and in return. Any items inside would be cleaned and returned.

Lieutenant Jay Dobson said the officers at Towers gathered witness statements and may have identified a student who caused the sprinkler to start. Dobson was unable to find the student.

Peter Rejto, assistant director for budget and physical plant operations, said he was up all night assisting the clean up efforts. He said while still assessing, he does not think the water did that much actual damage to the building itself.

Rejto said he brought in a professional cleaning crew to dry the hallways and stop water dripping from the ceilings.

“It is an ongoing process right now and we’re working through it with the students,” Rejto said.

Stay tuned for more updates on this story.