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April 24, 2017

Unknown liquids flood quad outside South Court and Westhampton dorms


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A broken water line caused minor flooding between Westhampton Hall and South Court Monday night. 

A rush of water and unknown substances under the Westhampton and South Court dorms burst from the ground, creating a river of waste water that reached the windows of some dorm rooms at around 11:30 p.m. Monday night.

The campus police non-emergency on-duty officer said she was too busy handling the issue to comment on the situation. The officer told The Collegian to check back in the morning. The story will be updated as more information becomes available.

“We were just sitting here doing our homework, then we heard there was some pipe burst in South and at first I didn’t think anything of it,” Tim Wing, RC ‘19, and Westhampton dorm resident, said. “There were like ten cops, so it’s a very exciting night.”

Wing said the police started walking through Westhampton when he “overheard one of the police officers saying they shut off the water going into Westhampton because they didn’t know where it was coming from.”

There was a rush of brown water coming down the staircase between South Court and Westhampton dorms. The water continued to flow down the staircases toward the windows by South Court. The rush of water also flooded parts of the quad, as well as the sidewalk leading to the field hockey turf.

“It just seems like it’s spreading rapidly and that nothing is really in place to stop the spread of it into other areas of campus yet," Carney Judge, RC ‘17, said.

Students walked outside their dorms to see what was happening for themselves.

Esther Outlaw, the head residential advisor for Westhampton, instructed her residents to go back inside after telling them there was a “hole in the ground,” Wing said. “The ground by the stairs had caved in.”

Wing also said a security officer was stationed inside the front entrance of Westhampton to prevent students from exiting through that door. 

“I was alerted of the flooding by my roommate who called me just as it began around 9:45 p.m. this evening,” Julia Oates, WC ‘18, said. “I went outside at the second floor back entrance of Westhampton and water was spewing out of the cracks between the sidewalk and grass as well as from the pipes in the grassy areas. Mud and sewage began to collect in puddles closer to South.”

Wing said he did not see anyone working to slow down the flooding. “Everybody was just letting it flow, nobody was doing anything, nobody was down there sandbagging or were concerned about the windows,” Wing said.

Mike Walsh, RC ‘19, and Westhampton resident, called the flooding "the craziest thing to happen at Richmond."

While this might be a crazy thing for Walsh, it is nerve-wracking for students who aren’t sure of what is going on or when facilities will turn the water back on.

“As of now, I am feeling anxious about when we will have water again,” Oates said.

Contact news editor Claire Comey at claire.comey@richmond.edu


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