The second and third floors of Harbin Hall experienced substantial flooding after an air conditioning pipe burst on Saturday afternoon. Water could be seen dripping from the windows of affected rooms and collecting on the side patio facing the Leavey Center.
“I came back around 3 [p.m.] and found three inches of water outside my room,” said Alexandra D’Agostino (MSB ’13), a resident on the third floor of Harbin.
D’Agostino said that she was able to salvage most of her possessions that had been affected by the water.
“We saved a lot before anything got wet. Some things that were closer to the door got a little more damaged,” D’Agostino said.
In a e-mail to the affected floors, Harbin Hall Director Patrick Denice attributed the flooding to a faulty air conditioning unit in the building.
“Apparently one of our air conditioning units burst, and that is where the water originated from,” Denice wrote in the e-mail. “However, our outstanding facilities staff has turned off that A/C unit and has been hard at work containing and cleaning up the flood.”
Students reportedly resorted to using trash cans to throw water out of their windows.
Julia Donnantuono (COL ’13), a Harbin third floor resident, lives one room over from where the air conditioning pipe burst.
Donnantuono reported that the flooding spread in her hallway and all through the side of her Harbin cluster. She said she tried to stop the water from coming into her room with towels, but that her efforts were ineffective.
She said that facilities workers have been working to remove the water by vacuuming it and using dehumidifiers, and she was told that the next step would be to shampoo the carpets in order to prevent mildew growth.
“It’s been a pretty frustrating experience,” Donnantuono said, adding that initially maintenance did not respond as quickly to the flooding as she had hoped. “It was bad in the beginning, but they got there eventually.”
Joanna Foote (SFS ’13), a resident on the seventh floor of Harbin, said that flooding affected Harbin’s lobby as well, indicating that water was dripping from the ceiling.
Foote added that she wasn’t sure that all Harbin residents were aware yet of the situation.
“I think some people don’t realize that it’s flooding yet if they haven’t left their room,” Foote said.
According to Kylie Davis (NHS ’13), the flooding was evident near the elevators in the building.
“I walked in up the stairs and there was water on the stairs,” Davis said. “I opened the door, and I would say that there was probably an inch or two of water in the lobby outside the elevators. I heard people talking about how there was [water] in the elevators, [it was] running down them.”
Denice’s e-mail also indicated that students in affected rooms would be able to receive temporary housing from the university. Those students were also directed to the Office of Risk Management to receive reimbursement for damaged items and laundry charges due to the flood.
“As I have been walking through the building,” Denice’s e-mail concluded, “I have noticed how positive you all have been. I really appreciate the high level of camaraderie demonstrated as we’ve worked together.”
D’Agostino added that the staff and third floor residents have come together to clean up after the flooding.
“I definitely saw a lot of people on the floor working together and a lot of staff working really hard,” D’Agostino said.
Anna Sannes (COL ’11), a resident assistant on the eight floor in Harbin Hall, declined to comment.
Hoya Staff Writer Eamon O’Connor contributed to this report.